"We Don't Report To A Prime Minister" - Zimbabwe Service Chiefs
HERE ARE THREE ZANU PF HARDLINERS: General Chiwenga, Mugabe's top Commander, happily congratulates the president soon after his inauguration at State House on Sunday June 29. Misheck Sibanda, the Secretary to the President and Cabinet, can be seen in the background, partly obscured by the General. These are the men who are causing Tsvangirai endless headaches. But he insists Mugabe, at least, is "not the problem."
Zimbabwe's dictator, Robert Mugabe and his security chiefs have refused to disband JOC (the Joint Operations Command, which was at the forefront of strategising Mugabe's retention of power in the chaotic aftermath of the March elections in 2008).Instead, JOC still sits regularly, thumbing its nose at the Inclusive Government. The meetings, some of which I have reported here before, are mainly held in two places: at State House, which Mugabe now uses as his preferred office after moving his family to his mansion in Helensvale, Borrowdale, a minute's drive from Gideon Gono's house, just off Carrick Creagh Road) or at the house in Highlands that I have mentioned here before.The Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed by Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara commits to the creation of a National Security Council, on which Tsvangirai is guaranteed a seat.The Service Chiefs and Mugabe hav simply ensured that the Security Council never meets.The MDC-T made the mistake of assuming that the creation of a National Security Council meant the disbanding of JOC.The agreement says nothing about disbanding JOC. Based on this, the Service Chiefs and Mugabe have said the continued meetings of JOC are legal and not in violation of the agreement. Technically, they are correct. The letter of the agreement certainly indicates this. But only if you are being legalistic and insincere.The spirit of the same agreement, however, suggests that the body should not even be meeting anymore.Meantime, the MDC-T has been reduced to demanding that the National Security Council meets "without further delay".They bemoaned the failure by the Council to meet in their Resolution this past Sunday, the one in which they said they had referred the matter to SADC. (Another cock-up I shall be discussing in detail in a later posting this evening).I also know for a fact that the Prime Minister "invited" the Service Chiefs to have a cup with them for familiarisation purposes and got back the following response (within the day):"We don't report to a Prime Minister. Send your request through our Commander-in Chief (President Mugabe)."It is not known whether Tsvangirai put his request to Mugabe in their one-on-one Monday meetings, but the fact that he has failed to meet the Service Chiefs to date says a lot.As I told you around the time Tsvangirai was sworn in (and I was told that I was dreaming and was wrong, the tide had turned etc), Mugabe was clear from the outset that Tsvangirai had to be kept as far away from the Defence Forces as possible.The Prime Minister, who keeps telling us about hardliners and how Mugabe is such a dandy chap, needs to look no further than Mugabe to find the gang leader of these "residual elements".So far, he is insisting that he needs Mugabe in order to give Zimbabweans a solution.