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Tensions rock Mnangagwa's government

by Staff reporter
30 May 2019 at 09:34hrs | Views
Security services have been ordered to be on high alert amid fears that the country could be on the precipice of mass demonstrations triggered by a rising cost of living.

As tensions simmered this week following threats by the main opposition party, the MDC, to demonstrate against President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government, there have also been reports suggesting there is a thickening plot to pressure on Mnangagwa to undertake far-reaching reforms to turnaround the underperforming economy.

 With just 18 months in office, the government is now under immense pressure from the opposition and some civic society organisations to reverse the economic slowdown.

Zimbabwe's economy is currently battling rising inflation, unemployment, de-industrialisation, fuel shortages and power outages.

There are fears in the government that the economic meltdown could trigger mass protests.

Insiders said some members of the security services have advised Mnangagwa to expedite measures for economic recovery.

It is also understood that the security services were sent a memo two weeks ago ordering them to be on high alert.

Business Times is reliably informed security sector heavyweights are not comfortable with the rate at which the economy is going down.

So dire is the economic situation that salaries for civil servants and private sector employees have virtually been eroded.

  Civil servants salary pay dates coincided with the further abrupt increases of prices of basic commodities. According to a well-placed source, the government, particularly Finance minister Mthuli Ncube is now under scrutiny from Zanu PF and the opposition.

 "Morale within government has reached rock bottom. Everyone is unhappy with the economic developments," a source said.

" The opposition is also pushing for a change in government. They say things have gotten worsen since he took over power in November. This has resulted in security services working around the clock to avert any possible demonstrations that affect government business."

Before elections, Mnangagwa warned legislators that he was aware of a plan to remove him through impeachment, but vowed to thwart it.

Addressing a Zanu PF meeting in March 2018 President Mnangagwa said: "I got intelligence that some of those who have won these primary elections have two minds. They have gone to join the Zanu PF wagon using various tricks, money included, to be elected with a possible view that once in Parliament; they will band together and move a motion of impeachment."

A tweet by former Finance and Economic Development Deputy Minister Terrence Mukupe fuelled speculation that there is tension within the government.

 "You can't employ the same strategy twice. Good luck to you daydreamers. We will respond in kind," Mukupe said apparently referring to the 2017 military intervention dubbed, "Operation Restore Legacy."

Mukupe, in the tweet, attached a short video of then Major General Sibusiso Moyo speaking in a Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) broadcast when he announced the army's intervention on November 15, 2017, in which he said: "The situation in our country has moved to another level."

In addition, MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa at his party's elective congress promised countrywide demonstrations voicing concerns over the deteriorating economic situation in the country.

The MDC Alliance passed a resolution that empowers Chamisa to push for the "ouster" President Mnangagwa before 2023.

Source - businesstime