Mnangagwa Consolidates Power, Ropes In The Army In His 2030 Ndinenge Ndichipo Campaign
4 May 2024
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By Political Correspondent- President Emerson Mnangagwa’s Friday actions have sent clear signals of a consolidation of power, mainly through his strategic engagement with the military. 

This move is notably evident in his latest initiative, the “2030 Ndinenge Ndichipo Campaign,” where he effectively enlisted the armed forces to bolster his authority within the ruling Zanu PF party and the nation at large.

When Mnangagwa took over power in November 2017, after a coup that ousted long-standing President Robert Mugabe, it was agreed that he would assume power temporarily, promising to cede authority to his deputy, Constantino Chiwenga, after serving two terms.

However, since assuming office, Mnangagwa has meticulously worked to solidify his position, beginning with a series of purges targeting military figures aligned with Chiwenga. 

This calculated manoeuvring serves a dual purpose: neutralizing potential sources of opposition and consolidating his control over the military apparatus.

A Friday event in Gweru provided a striking illustration of Mnangagwa’s symbiotic relationship with the military. 

During the commissioning of the 39th Regular Officer Cadet Course at the Zimbabwe Military Academy, Mnangagwa not only reiterated the importance of the armed forces but also explicitly tied their role to his own political agenda.

 He was direct on the need for the military to align with his “2030 vision,” a clear indication of their instrumental role in advancing his political ambitions.

“The Zimbabwe Defence Forces should always defend the secure and stable environment, which is necessary for the attainment of our Vision to become an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

“Following this graduation, huge responsibilities, associated with the ranks of officers, are reposed on you to command men and women whose duty is to safeguard the independence, territorial integrity and prosperity of our country,” he said.

Mnangagwa’s speech at the event showed his intention to co-opt the military as a key ally in his quest for prolonged dominance. 

He praised the armed forces for their contributions to national stability and development while at the same time urging them to embrace technological advancements to enhance their capabilities—a subtle nod to modernizing the military infrastructure under his purview.

Moreover, Mnangagwa’s address contained thinly veiled exhortations for unwavering loyalty and obedience from the newly commissioned officers. By emphasizing their duty to safeguard national interests and uphold the principles of the ruling establishment, Mnangagwa effectively signaled his expectation for the military to serve as guardians of his regime.