Balancing the army!


The recent promotions of army and air force commanders seems to be aimed more at tribally balancing the army than anything else.

The appointment of Perence Shiri as commander of the air force seems to have raised the wrath of those who still remember the atrocities committed by Five Brigade when he was still its commander.

But in reality, while Solomon Mujuru had asked on a number of times to be released from the army, the same did not apply to Tungamirai.

The promotion of Musungo Gava Zvinavashe as commander of the army leaving Tungamirai as commander of the Air force would have meant that the two wings would have been headed by Karangas which was very unacceptable to the Zezuru-dominated cabinet.

On the other hand the promotion of Constantine Guveya Chiwenga over Gava to take over the army while ensuring this tribal balance would have been unacceptable to the Karangas who constitute the majority in almost all the armed forces.

The promotions also provided some accommodation for the Ndebele albeit they will continue to play second -fiddle to the two Shona-groups but at least, it can be argued that the Ndebeles through Home affairs Minister, Dumiso Dabengwa, control the police.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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