Taking command

Sinqobile Tessa
MAKING MOVES: Army boss turned politician, Sibanda

Military junta in the making

President Emmerson Mnangagwa continues to do the unthinkable, much to the astonishment of masses.

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He shocked many when he appointed his son and close relatives into cabinet. A few weeks later, he appointed yet another relative to be the Chief Secretary to cabinet.

When criticism came from all angles, he indirectly told people to go hell.

At the just ended Zanu PF annual conference, Mnangagwa pulled his latest shocker when he announced that the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Valerio Sibanda was now a member of the ruling party’s supreme body, the politburo.

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Constitutionally, this is very wrong as Sibanda is a civil servant who should be apolitical. Yet here we are with a Commander who is now openly a card carrying member.

The President was quick to say those opposed to Sibanda’s appointment should approach the Constitutional Court, knowing very well that it would be a waste of time.

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Anyway, Sibanda’s coming into politics is actually not that big of a surprise.

The man played a pivotal role in the 2017 military coup that brought Mnangagwa into power and it has always been said there was a gentleman’s agreement that the army top brass would be rewarded one way or the other.

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So, basically Sibanda is paving his way into the presidency and could sooner or later be appointed one of the Vice Presidents seeing that the current VPs seem to be always under the weather.

Some political analysts, however, see this as a ‘coup proofing’ mechanism by Mnangagwa; meaning that by bringing the military commander closer to him, he is making sure he does not suffer the same fate as the late Robert Mugabe since history has a way repeating itself.

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In other news, it surely never rains but pours for Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s ex-wife, Mary Mubaiwa.

On Friday, the former model’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa threw in the towel due to frustration at the way the courts were handling her case.

Mubaiwa is facing a number of charges including that of attempting to kill the VP. Her marathon case has been ongoing with very little progress despite her ill health.

Mtetwa gave up after the Magistrate presiding over the matter refused to postpone last week’s hearing despite the suspect falling ill again.

Mubaiwa, 42, is battling acute hymphoedema, an illness that causes arms and legs to swell badly. Last year her right arm was amputated.

Even though Mubaiwa was quick to hire another lawyer, Chiwenga must be celebrating that she has been dumped by a top attorney as the whole thing is to make sure that she ends up in jail despite her ill health. Very heartless and vindictive I tell you.

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