Mnangagwa sucks up to army


Innocent Ncube, a political scientist, said the budget was in line with countries that had a military hand in government.

“You can’t starve your boss. That’s the unwritten rule in military states. A happy army is a cushion for rulers, especially in a country where there has been a fresh coup,” he said.

War veterans comprise mostly retired army officers who earn a monthly pension of $300 (US$15).

The Finance Minister allocated funds for them to take up income generating projects. He also allocated money for their medical costs and school fees for their children and grandchildren.

Ncube said this was to compensate for their “immense sacrifice to the nation”.

He allocated $1.5m for a cattle rearing project, which was one of the income generating plans.

Last week the politburo, ZANU-PF’s central decision making body, resolved to include the war veterans as an official structure in ZANU-PF.

The politburo meeting agreed that war veterans should be integrated as a wing of the party at its forthcoming conference in Goromonzi, Mashonaland East.

Party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo told reporters after the politburo meeting on Tuesday that the President was worried about G40 elements that needed to be crushed.

“He challenged the politburo leadership to be more visible at grassroots and associate with programmes of government, always giving people a message of hope. Those hobnobbing with G40 elements stand warned,” he said.

Mnangagwa’s deputy Minister of Information, Energy Mutodi, this week claimed on Twitter that G40 elements were working on guerrilla tactics, “using house maids to administer poison, explosives and other harmful substances including ambushes”.

The worry around securing Mnangagwa’s power base was also influenced by Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, who last week in the South African parliament moved a motion challenging Mnangagwa to let political exiles linked to G40 return home. He also called on Mnangagwa to protect Mugabe’s widow, Grace.

A ZANU-PF insider said this had further worsened suspicion that the G40 was working with ZANU-PF insiders to humiliate Mnangagwa.

“Malema already has one in the bag. He flew into Zimbabwe and spoke for the Mugabe family, and what happened next was a breakdown between the former first family and the President, when they went ahead to bury Mugabe in Zvimba despite initially agreeing for a special Heroes’ Acre burial.

“He came to Zimbabwe with advice from G40 people. Now they are using him to get back home via the back door and cause trouble,” said the ZANU-PF source.

Mnangagwa, in a meeting with the ZANU-PF Youth League, also raised fears for his job last week, saying there were elements in the party bent on criticising him and setting him up to fail.

Mutodi was last week quoted in the press as saying: “Some of these youths write some colourful messages praising the President, while in the background they plan his downfall.”-Sunday Times


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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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