By Simba Chikanza | Gloves are clearly off today, no doubt about that, the evidence too clear – and why are soldiers all of a sudden disobeying their Commander in Chief today? Is there a coup, and to what extent is the military disquiet?
Mnangagwa has ordered people to go back to work and build the economy, but within 96 hrs, soldiers are telling the public to disregard his “presidential” instruction.
On the 12th June, Mnangagwa told the nation, to return to work to revamp the economy;
…within less than 4 days, the military are seen busy in the streets ordering the citizens to do the opposite, to turn their backs and go home, in what will certainly see the economy suffer setbacks.
In this feature, ZimEye contacts Emmerson Mnangagwa himself and also the senior military, among other core sources to the story, to find out what on earth is going on between the Limpopo and the Zambezi rivers.
The interviews come as state security insiders tell ZimEye, “soldiers are clearly tense.”
They explain the situation saying, “Someone spread a rumour of a coup, so Mnangagwa was trying to change military generals following that rumour, so they refused, so it’s that tense.
“Mnangagwa misfired because he took coup rumours very seriously, ” they added, as they spoke of a report by an American preacher called Nathan Hambyrd who alleges that Mnangagwa will be assassinated as ‘a hot bullet goes through his head.’
Says Hambyrd, “”Mr Mnangagwa, your thievery, your ungodly life, your murders, your abductions, your rapes, your pillaging, your immorality, your promiscuity, your devil worshipping, God is going to take your breath from you, a hot bullet will find you.
“It will go through your flesh, and blood will spill out everywhere, I’m not going to do it, but it will come from your own people, and that is the will of God, for you to bleed and die.”
“Mnangagwa believes in spiritualism from vapositori and witch doctors, so if he hears anything from the spiritualists, he becomes worked up.
“So now, he went on to shake the branch with its swarm of bees, so the army errupted into a loud disquiet, the soldiers are not happy,” they said.
Names and ranks of the generals up for firing had not been published at the time of writing (this report is being updated).
The leak, is however confirmed by a full Joint Operations Command announcement by the Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe flanked by full colour military generals when the US preacher’s name was dropped, as Kazembe also attacked the country’s leading investigative news network, ZimEye.com.
So which ranks are in a disquiet then?, our reporter asked, to which ZimEye was told, “when soldiers are fed up, what happens is when generals above are given money and perks, the lower ranks complain, but this larger part of the army even if it complains, nothing happens because they operate under a firm command structure; the lower ranks can never go into action without an order from the top.
“If the military can be allowed to roam around abusing their power it means that there is somebody up there who is allowing it to happen,” they added.
While video evidence from Harare and Bulawayo, showed soldiers as non violent albeit still sending people home, in their Commander In Chief’s own hometown, Zvishavane, it was blood on the floor, as it were – the direct message from the military to Mnangagwa was blasted louder: Soldiers who were reportedly beating civilians there following a sharp increase in fuel prices at Mnangagwa’s petrol stations. Below were some submissions from sources in the area, which ZimEye verified with several sources there.
In ZANU PF’s stronghold, Masvingo town, there were no beatings, although soldiers and police were roaming about in the neighbourhoods.
ZimEye reached out to Mnangagwa for a comment and his spokesman, George Charamba angrily reacted as he lashed out saying, “first disabuse your readers of the alarmist story you ran and then you and I can engage,” he said, while referring to the video article showing how soldiers went round the cities ordering workers to disobey their(the soldiers’) own commander in chief, to go back home.
Charamba’s denial came as a highly reliable source within the army has revealed to ZimEye.com that soldiers have closed off all major urban centres in the country in protest against government’s move to reduce their salaries by ZWL$1000.
Members of the military were apparently warned last month that they will receive reduced salaries this month (June) because a back pay that had been spread for four months – February to May – has been paid up.
A letter communicating this change, which ZimEye republishes, states in part, “expect a reduction in net salaries with effect from June 2020, because if the cessation of the backpay.”
Contacted for a comment, military spokesman Col Overson Mugwisi had a different story. He told ZimEye the ongoing military deployment is all to do with the coronavirus lockdown.
“Talk to the police, they’re in charge of the lockdown,” he said, referring to the COVID lockdown.
Below is a roll if the spokesman’s responses :”Who is turning away people?
“My brother I think you know the truth that lockdown measures are being done by the police.
“I really don’t know why you have an obsession of talking to the military…
“Talk to the police,they’re in charge of the lockdown…”
But the national COVID lockdown was officially scaled down to Level 2 last week Friday, with ZANU PF President Emmerson Mnangagwa announcing saying, people should now return to work to revamp the economy.
Towards the end of the day, state security sources reiterated to ZimEye, “there might not be a coup but there is a loud disquiet in the military ranks and it has been permitted.”