Mugabe's Last-Minute Instructions To His Soldiers Show Where Real Power Lies In Zimbabwe
Robert "Morgan Tsvangirai's Solution" Mugabe receives the Honour Salute at Entebbe Airport in Kampala, Uganda upon his arrival for the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit on Refugees. Mugabe had just left Zimbabwe where he huddled publicly with his Defence Minister and top commander for last minute instructions at Harare International Airport. It is ironic that he should be attending this summit after having caused the fleeing of countless Zimbabweans who have claimed refugee status in South Africa, Britain, the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other countries. But we have always known that the dictator has no shame.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 22 October 2009
Those of you who are not in Zimbabwe would not have seen this, but I was surprised that even the people here in Zimbabwe missed the significance of an occurrence at the airport yesterday, where Mugabe was preparing to fly out to Uganda to attend yet another useless Summit and line his pockets with even more travel allowance money.
The President briskly shook hands with all those who had come to see him off, including now-Acting President Joice Mujuru and then he drew Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Constantine Chiwengwa and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa aside. They spoke quietly for a little while before Mugabe bade farewell to everybody else and boarded the plane for Uganda.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai finally specifically mentioned "elements in the National Security Forces" as part of the bloc that is implacably opposed to him and the MDC and who are refusing to meet him at the National Security Council.
(By the way, those shrill and delusional MDC-T supporters who threw insults at me when I revealed that JOC (Join Operations Commands, which was supposed to have been replaced by the National Security Council on which Tsvangirai sits) is still meeting and that the Security Council itself has ceased meeting have gone eerily quiet since Morgan Tsvangirai himself confirmed the truth of my statements and revelations on this score. I could not believe that they were defending Mugabe and his military when they threw their insults at me for exposing this fact. Most of them said I was lying and that the National Security Council was meeting regularly on a month to month basis. They claimed JOC had been disbanded finally since they had convinced themselves that the Security Forces Commanders had saluted Tsvangirai.
They should be shouting at Tsvangirai now for confirming my statement that the National Security Council is dead and JOC, in Tsvangirai's words "is still meeting as regularly as it did before".
Anyway, the chat Mugabe had with his Defence Minister and top commander shows all of us close observers who really is the power behind Mugabe. Despite Tsvangirai's assertion earlier in the year that the military were leading Mugabe, our position is proving to be the correct one: that it is in fact Mugabe who is leading the military.
Yesterday's talk was last-minute instructions on how to hold down the fort in the absence of the Mugabe. ZANU PF and Mugabe have been quite jittery since the announcement of the pull-out despite putting on a brave face.
Their fear was primarily that MDC-T supporters may be organised to stage demonstrations in Harare especially. Mugabe's position on demonstrations is that if they are left to run their course as is done in mature democracies, they could easily get out of hand.
He has, I am told mentioned the fate of the regime of his friend, Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania, who let demonstrations get out of hand and ended up in front of a hastily arranged court and was summarily executed soon after.
That incident haunts Mugabe still, coming as did only a few months after Ceausescu had been feted on a visit to Zimbabwe where he addressed a packed rally at a Harare Stadium.
Tsvangirai has now brought his fight with the military back into the open, repeating a classic mistake he made when he announced at a rally that he would chop off the heads of the Commanders if he took power.
Of course, they react by clinging even harder to power to ensure that their heads stay on their shoulders. The likelihood that they will change their stance is very remote. They think the Prime Minister is simply trying to lull them into a false sense of security and if they let him ascend to the presidency, they will be mincemeat.
So Tsvangirai's milk was split long back, it can not be put back into the gourd now, no matter how well he behaves towards the military commanders now. They will simply smile back, while holding very large knives behind their backs, whispering into Mugabe's ear!
So, although Vice-President Joice Mujuru is said to be Acting President in the absence of Mugabe now, the country is actually being run from the unassuming offices of the Defence Ministry just behind Tsvangirai and Mugabe's own office complex, Munhumutapa Building.
That was confirmed yesterday at the airport.