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Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is in Russia this month, on a trip the highlight of which will be his request to Russia for them to set up a military base in the Southern African country.
Sources within government and ZANU PF variously confirmed that a decision had been taken at the highest level of the party and state to counter the presence of an alleged American military base in Botswana by inviting the Russians to move into Zimbabwe. This invitation has apparently already been extended and Mugabe's trip is a confirmatory one.
The decision was apparently expedited because Mugabe is taking the impatience of the West, especially Britain and the United States, very seriously. This is the first confirmed indication that Mugabe is indeed not dismissing the talk of military intervention in Zimbabwe as called for now by Desmond Tutu, Raila Odinga and others. He is putting on a brave front in public but is apparently worried enough to have made those arrangements I told you about with Angola and Namibia as well as this latest move towards Russia.
In my article here some weeks back (Mugabe Prepares For War) I explained to you the alliance that has now been forged between Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia and the promises of Angola and Namibia to Mugabe to offer him bases from which to operate in the event that he is dislodged from Zimbabwe. No one who knows anything about Mugabe seriously doubts that, were he to be ejected from power by force, he would go into quiet retirement in another country. Mugabe will fight back. There is no doubt about that at all.
Only two weeks ago, confirmation of this intention came again from Mugabe himself. During a meeting with three Politburo members to discuss ZANU PF provincial restructuring, he told them an admiring anecdote about Hendrik Witbooi.
Witbooi was a Nama chief during the colonisation of Namibia by German in the 1800s. This chief led a rebellion against the Germans, staging ambushes and waging guerrilla war relentlessly until he was shot dead during a battle with the colonial army. He was 85 years old at the time. The Zimbabwean president is said to have pointed out with pride that Witbooi was the same age as he is now when he launched the guerrilla war against the invading colonial power. He considers himself still fit enough to lead a resistance or a guerrilla war.
Anyway, Mugabe's trip to Russia comes as the calls for his resignation grow and he is said to intend to ask Prime Minister Putin, the real power in Russia, to station a contingent of troops in Zimbabwe as insurance against any attempt to invade Zimbabwe and oust him. This should be in place within the next three to six months. Whether it will be announced publicly or not is another matter entirely. The last posting of military personnel in Zimbabwe (Korean instructors who tutored the notorious 5th Brigades immediately before it committed genocide in Matabeleland), was kept a closely guarded secret. Only rumours and secretly taken photos (by some of the Koreans themselves) surfaced to confirm their presence on Zimbabwean soil. It was only then that the Zimbabwean dictator publicly confirmed their presence at an Independence Day rally in Harare.
Mugabe claimed to the Politburo members mentioned above that he had sounded out both Putin and his nominal president, Medvedev on the prospect and they were keen to cooperate. Putin is an ally of Mugabe and Russia, together with China are the two countries that have shielded Mugabe from United Nations censure. They routinely block all efforts by the USA and Britain to bring Zimbabwe up for discussion at the world body.
Mugabe's trip is apparently also going to concentrate on discussions about the Russians helping with the exploitation of the diamond fields of Madziwa. Mugabe's government, through lack of capital, has been unable to exploit this valuable deposit despite freezing out private capital from the area. A Trade Attache at the Russian Embassy in Harare has already left the country for Russia to prepare for Mugabe's trip there. There is no military attache at the Russian embassy in Harare at the moment and the arrival of one, scheduled, I understand for April of this year, will signal Russia's deeper involvement in the military affairs of Zimbabwe.
I have not been told of a timeline for this movement of Russian military personnel into Zimbabwe, but considering the urgency with which Mugabe apparently now views the threats from the west, it could be sooner rather than later.
As you are aware, more than 90% of the information and news that I break here has been proved correct. But on this one issue, the movement of Russian troops into Zimbabwe, I am more confident than I have ever been with any news story I have given you hear. It is the one story on which I have now taken up Jessica on the biggest monetary bet we have ever waged. Our deadline for this to be out in the open (and me to win my windfall) is October of this year, though I expect it to be much sooner than that
One last note: I HAVE IT ON GOOD AUTHORITY NOW THAT YOU SHOULD NOT EXPECT ANY ELECTIONS THIS YEAR, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE TALKS AND THE GNU. MUGABE HAS TOLD HIS PEOPLE THAT THE EARLIEST HE WILL CONSIDER AN ELECTION IS IN 18 MONTHS TIME.
Previous Articles: (Click on One To Read The Full Post):
- Petition To Free A Two Year Old Boy From Mugabe's Prison
- Mugabe Stokes Up Tribal Hatred
- Jestina Mukoko - Real Reasons For Arrest Revealed
- Jestina Mukoko "Implicates Tsvangirai"
- Mugabe Prepares To Arrest Tsvangirai
- Zimbabwe Approached South Africa To Officially Use The Rand