CIO Chimombe Arrest Chiwenga 2017 Style, Is Mnangagwa About To Be Removed?
26 June 2024
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By Lanclet Ncube |

CHIMOMBE CHINA PLANE ‘CRASH LANDING’: A Prelude to Political Upheaval?

In the annals of Zimbabwean politics, significant shifts often follow mysterious and dramatic events. The recent arrival of Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu, notable for their involvement in a USD 40 million ballot printing tender, under the protective watch of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organization (CIO), has sent ripples across the political landscape. Their startling claims of election rigging and threats to expose intricate details of ballot manipulation evoke a sense of déjà vu, drawing uncanny parallels to a tumultuous period in the nation’s history.

Historical Echoes of November 2017

Rewind to November 2017, when Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s sudden return from China was marked by a near-arrest and escalating tensions at State House. This incident foreshadowed a swift and decisive power shift, culminating in the dramatic ouster of then-President Robert Mugabe. The recent return of Chimombe and Mpofu under shadowy circumstances eerily mirrors those events, prompting the question: Is Zimbabwe on the brink of another seismic political shift?

A Nation on Edge

Chimombe and Mpofu’s insider knowledge and their willingness to expose the mechanisms of election rigging place them in a position of significant leverage. Their claims resonate with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) observer mission’s findings, which highlighted compromised electoral integrity due to ballot shortages. The potential fallout from these revelations could be immense, challenging the legitimacy of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.

Political Dynamics at Play

Several key factors contribute to the current state of unease:

  1. CIO Involvement: The protection offered to Chimombe and Mpofu by CIO Deputy Director General Walter Tapfumaneyi signals high-level awareness and potential complicity in their allegations. This involvement suggests that the information they possess could be explosive enough to threaten the very foundation of Mnangagwa’s rule.
  2. Factional Struggles: The protection provided by Kuda Tagwirei and the involvement of Mnangagwa’s children in lucrative tenders, including the contentious Starlink deal, indicate deep-rooted factionalism within the ruling party. The power struggles that ensue from these divisions could escalate into a broader conflict, reminiscent of the infighting that led to Mugabe’s downfall.
  3. Public Sentiment: The Zimbabwean populace, already disillusioned by economic hardships and political instability, may find Chimombe and Mpofu’s revelations to be the final straw. Public unrest and demands for accountability could drive a groundswell of support for political change.

What Lies Ahead?

The parallels to 2017 raise a critical question: Is Mnangagwa’s presidency on the verge of collapse? The potential for another dramatic power shift cannot be dismissed. If Chimombe and Mpofu’s allegations gain traction, they could catalyze a chain of events leading to Mnangagwa’s removal.

However, the outcome is far from certain. Mnangagwa, a seasoned political operator, may maneuver to suppress these threats and consolidate his power. Alternatively, the revelations could empower his opponents, leading to a leadership crisis that mirrors the upheaval of Mugabe’s final days.

As Zimbabwe stands at this crossroads, the nation’s political future hangs in the balance. The unfolding drama surrounding Chimombe and Mpofu’s return could be the precursor to another historic transformation, one that will shape the country’s trajectory for years to come. The coming weeks will be crucial in determining whether Mnangagwa can weather this storm or if Zimbabwe is on the cusp of yet another dramatic shift in power.