No smoke without fire
BACK THEN: People holding posters of Chiwenga during the coup

They say everything happens for a reason.

So when changes take place in influential establishments, one can easily conclude that something is surely brewing within the corridors of power.

For sometime now, there has been talk and unconfirmed reports that President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice President, Constantino Chiwenga no longer see eye to eye.

Apparently the latter feels more powerful since he played a leading role in the November 2017 coup which ultimately led to Mngangagwa’s rise to the top.

There have even been rumours of a second coup in the making, allegedly to topple the sitting president in favour of the vice president who is a former army commander.

While these talks could have been easily dismissed, the latest re-deployments of top army officials have done nothing but fuel the speculation that indeed Mnangagwa is working round the clock to consolidate his power which is ostensibly under threat.

On Monday, it was announced that the President had retired four military generals who served under the former leader, Robert Mugabe and also worked very closely with their former boss, Chiwenga.

The retired generals are now set to be re-deployed to various diplomatic missions, far from the daily happenings within the army.

The move has been viewed by critics as an attempt by Mnangagwa to weaken Chiwenga, who is apparently still extremely influential in the army.

According to reports, one of the generals, who is a former head of presidential guard, gave orders to the soldiers who dealt with the August post election violence to use force, which then resulted in the death of six people.

What is even more interesting about these re-deployments is that they happen while Chiwenga is in India for medical attention.

While life and work has to go on despite the absence of another person, in Zanu PF and government, nothing is taken at face value hence the speculation that there was a reason for Mnangagwa to act the way he did while his deputy is away.

We have heard from the grapevine that the former army boss opposes almost everything that the President says or does hence the latter had to make this crucial decision of retiring generals who could in future be a threat to his rule.

And to make sure that he is safe, Mnangagwa quickly replaced the former generals with men who are allegedly closely related to him or from his home province. By doing this, the President is making sure that he is surrounded by people he can trust, people who can never plot his demise.

There is, however, no guarantee that he is totally safe. Who could have thought that the once powerful Mugabe would one day be booted out by people who were seemingly unwaveringly loyal to him?

Time will tell if these talks of a rift at the top are just a fallacy.

However, if the history of the ruling party is anything to go by, then Mnangagwa might not finish his term – for him to do so, surely more heads will have to roll.

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This coup should never have happened if SADC showed more courage to step in and do something as regional bloc. This country is part of the regional bloc


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