Mugabe hanging on by the skin of his teeth as war veterans open challenge takes its toll

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HARARE – Some Zanu PF insiders and former party bigwigs say it could now be “only a matter of time” before President Robert Mugabe bites the dust, after restless war veterans became the latest key constituency in the country to call for his immediate departure.zimbabwe-mugabe-3-752x501

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The disaffected insiders who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said unless there were dramatic developments within the ruling party in the next few days that could turn things “180 degrees”, it would be difficult for the increasingly-isolated nonagenarian to continue holding on to power.
“I have said to you before that things are not looking good and I think they took a turn for the worse over the past few days. Many comrades are noting the fact that whereas previously, people pointed fingers elsewhere and found scapegoats among Gushungo’s (Mugabe’s) lieutenants for Zimbabwe’s problems, now they are looking squarely at him.
“Indeed, this current crisis is very different from anything that Zanu PF has had to deal with since Herbert Chitepo was murdered in Zambia and (Ndabaningi) Sithole was kicked out of the party in the 1970s.
“In fact, many people fear that Gushungo now faces more or less the same challenge that Ndabaningi faced in the 1970s. This is why some comrades believe it could be ‘mene, mene, tekel, parsin’,” one of the sources said.

The biblical quote “mene, mene, tekel, parsin” is found in the Old Testament where words appeared on the wall during Belshazzar’s Feast (Daniel 5:25), and which were interpreted by the prophet Daniel to mean that God had doomed the kingdom of Belshazzar.

Former Zanu PF stalwarts and senior ministers — Didymus Mutasa, Rugare Gumbo and Kudakwashe Bhasikiti — who were expelled from the warring ruling party in 2014 together with former Vice President Joice Mujuru, and are now with the opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) also believe that it is a matter of time before Mugabe falls.

This dire prognosis for Mugabe, a political grandmaster who has outsmarted and outmuscled his opponents over the past six decades, comes as both Zanu PF and the increasingly frail nonagenarian are at sixes and sevens about how to deal with the stunning fall-out with former freedom fighters, which many analysts also say marks the beginning of the end for one of the world’s longest rulers.

“People are now angry. Kunyangwe Mwari haachamude munhu uyu. Kunyangwe Satan chaiye haachamudewo (Even God and Satan no longer want Mugabe),” Bhasikiti told thousands of supporters who attended Mujuru’s rally at Marondera’s Rudhaka stadium on Saturday. “We are now ready to send Mugabe to his rural home,” he added.

Before Bhasikiti was sacked as provincial minister for Masvingo, Mugabe accused him of belonging to the “wrong basket (Zanu PF faction)” at an explosive politburo meeting in 2014.

On Saturday, Bhasikiti shot back with interest, saying being with the people as he was now meant that he was in the right basket.

Former State security minister, Mutasa, said the deepening economic crisis in the country, as well as the general populace’s rising anger against Mugabe and Zanu PF, which recently led to protests and violent riots, were a sign that the nonagenariant and his ruling party would not last until 2018.

“For Zanu PF I don’t think they can reach 2018. Very soon Mujuru will be going to State House. Zanu PF is now clueless. They do not know how to solve the current economic woes. You must not be afraid of confronting Mugabe peacefully. We need to be united as opposition parties to push Mugabe out,” Mutasa said while speaking at the same Mujuru rally.

On his part, prominent liberation struggle stalwart, Gumbo, said it was important for Zimbabweans to support ongoing protests against Mugabe because people had grown tired of the nonagenarian’s and Zanu PF’s misrule.

“We need regime change like yesterday. But we need to be united as opposition parties to remove this evil regime. We need to support the likes of Sten Zvorwadza, Tajamuka, and #This Flag among others.

“Don’t fear victimisation. Freedom doesn’t come easily, even during the liberation war we were arrested and victimised but we remained resolute,” the former Zanu PF information tsar said at the same rally.

Mugabe and Zanu PF got a rude shock last Thursday when war veterans served divorce papers on the nonagenarian after growing frustrated with their worsening lot, 36 years into the country’s independence.

Analysts say war veterans have been one of Mugabe’s strongest pillars of support, playing particularly significant roles to keep the nonagenarian in power in the hotly disputed 2000 and 2008 elections which were both marred by serious violence and the murder of hundreds of opposition supporters.

The fall-out between Mugabe and war veterans also comes as the 92-year-old is battling swelling public anger against him and Zanu PF, which has seen strikes and riots hurting the already dying economy further.

Earlier this month teachers, nurses and doctors went on strike after the government failed to pay them their June salaries on time, and there are growing doubts about the capacity of the cash-strapped government to pay civil servants their July salaries on time.

Mujuru also told her supporters on Saturday that the government should resign after failing to steer the country well and to pay civil servants on time.

The former Zanu PF deputy also warned that Mugabe was skating on thin ice by paying the military way after their due salary dates

“The Zimbabwe situation is now bad. Our soldiers are now getting their salaries on the 47th day of the month. We heard that some ministers celebrated that this month they had improved on paying civil servants by paying people on the 37th day of the month,” she said.

United Kingdom-based lawyer and academic, Alex Magaisa, also tended to agree with those people that Mugabe’s end could be nigh, citing the government’s struggle to pay the civil service on time as a stark example of this.

“When a government is unable to pay wages to its civil service, as well as the uniformed forces, there is a serious problem. Such a situation is unsustainable and could lead to chaos.

“In fact, government’s inability to pay soldiers is a significant risk to national security,” he said.

Many analysts say that the government’s dwindling revenue base, as well as the country’s dying economy, are signs that Zanu PF has reached “a fiscal dead end”.

Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe’s attainment of independence from Britain in April 1980, is accused of running down the once prosperous country through bad policies and gross misgovernance.

Sithole was kicked out of the party in the 1970s.

“In fact, many people fear that Gushungo now faces more or less the same challenge that Ndabaningi faced in the 1970s. This is why some comrades believe it could be ‘mene, mene, tekel, parsin’,” one of the sources said.

The biblical quote “mene, mene, tekel, parsin” is found in the Old Testament where words appeared on the wall during Belshazzar’s Feast (Daniel 5:25), and which were interpreted by the prophet Daniel to mean that God had doomed the kingdom of Belshazzar.

Former Zanu PF stalwarts and senior ministers — Didymus Mutasa, Rugare Gumbo and Kudakwashe Bhasikiti — who were expelled from the warring ruling party in 2014 together with former Vice President Joice Mujuru, and are now with the opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) also believe that it is a matter of time before Mugabe falls.

This dire prognosis for Mugabe, a political grandmaster who has outsmarted and outmuscled his opponents over the past six decades, comes as both Zanu PF and the increasingly frail nonagenarian are at sixes and sevens about how to deal with the stunning fall-out with former freedom fighters, which many analysts also say marks the beginning of the end for one of the world’s longest rulers.

“People are now angry. Kunyangwe Mwari haachamude munhu uyu. Kunyangwe Satan chaiye haachamudewo (Even God and Satan no longer want Mugabe),” Bhasikiti told thousands of supporters who attended Mujuru’s rally at Marondera’s Rudhaka stadium on Saturday. “We are now ready to send Mugabe to his rural home,” he added.

Before Bhasikiti was sacked as provincial minister for Masvingo, Mugabe accused him of belonging to the “wrong basket (Zanu PF faction)” at an explosive politburo meeting in 2014.

On Saturday, Bhasikiti shot back with interest, saying being with the people as he was now meant that he was in the right basket.

Former State security minister, Mutasa, said the deepening economic crisis in the country, as well as the general populace’s rising anger against Mugabe and Zanu PF, which recently led to protests and violent riots, were a sign that the nonagenariant and his ruling party would not last until 2018.

“For Zanu PF I don’t think they can reach 2018. Very soon Mujuru will be going to State House. Zanu PF is now clueless. They do not know how to solve the current economic woes. You must not be afraid of confronting Mugabe peacefully. We need to be united as opposition parties to push Mugabe out,” Mutasa said while speaking at the same Mujuru rally.

On his part, prominent liberation struggle stalwart, Gumbo, said it was important for Zimbabweans to support ongoing protests against Mugabe because people had grown tired of the nonagenarian’s and Zanu PF’s misrule.

“We need regime change like yesterday. But we need to be united as opposition parties to remove this evil regime. We need to support the likes of Sten Zvorwadza, Tajamuka, and #This Flag among others.

“Don’t fear victimisation. Freedom doesn’t come easily, even during the liberation war we were arrested and victimised but we remained resolute,” the former Zanu PF information tsar said at the same rally.

Mugabe and Zanu PF got a rude shock last Thursday when war veterans served divorce papers on the nonagenarian after growing frustrated with their worsening lot, 36 years into the country’s independence.

Analysts say war veterans have been one of Mugabe’s strongest pillars of support, playing particularly significant roles to keep the nonagenarian in power in the hotly disputed 2000 and 2008 elections which were both marred by serious violence and the murder of hundreds of opposition supporters.

The fall-out between Mugabe and war veterans also comes as the 92-year-old is battling swelling public anger against him and Zanu PF, which has seen strikes and riots hurting the already dying economy further.

Earlier this month teachers, nurses and doctors went on strike after the government failed to pay them their June salaries on time, and there are growing doubts about the capacity of the cash-strapped government to pay civil servants their July salaries on time.

Mujuru also told her supporters on Saturday that the government should resign after failing to steer the country well and to pay civil servants on time.

The former Zanu PF deputy also warned that Mugabe was skating on thin ice by paying the military way after their due salary dates

“The Zimbabwe situation is now bad. Our soldiers are now getting their salaries on the 47th day of the month. We heard that some ministers celebrated that this month they had improved on paying civil servants by paying people on the 37th day of the month,” she said.

United Kingdom-based lawyer and academic, Alex Magaisa, also tended to agree with those people that Mugabe’s end could be nigh, citing the government’s struggle to pay the civil service on time as a stark example of this.

“When a government is unable to pay wages to its civil service, as well as the uniformed forces, there is a serious problem. Such a situation is unsustainable and could lead to chaos.

“In fact, government’s inability to pay soldiers is a significant risk to national security,” he said.

Many analysts say that the government’s dwindling revenue base, as well as the country’s dying economy, are signs that Zanu PF has reached “a fiscal dead end”.

Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe’s attainment of independence from Britain in April 1980, is accused of running down the once prosperous country through bad policies and gross misgovernance.-Dailynews

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