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Mnangagwa coup-proofing himself

by Staff reporter
31 Oct 2023 at 05:56hrs | Views
Political analysts have criticized the appointment of Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Philip Valerio Sibanda as an ex-officio Zanu-PF politburo member, describing it as a move by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to consolidate power and implement a coup-proofing mechanism.

This appointment has been widely criticized as it disregards the country's constitution, which prohibits serving members of the security sector from participating in partisan politics. Sibanda has held the position of ZDF Commander since 2017.

According to political analyst Eldred Masunugure, this move changes civil-military relations by making the Commander of the Defence Forces (CDF) an overtly partisan leader of the national defense forces. It raises concerns about the violation of the constitution and may indicate Mnangagwa's interest in resolving the succession issue that led to "Operation Restore Legacy" in 2017.

Academic Ibbo Mandaza expressed concerns about the disregard for the country's constitution, while Innocent Kagodora suggested that the appointment might be a signal of power consolidation, paving the way for the CDF Chief to become Vice President, potentially succeeding VP Chiwenga.

Kagodora also emphasized the blurred lines between the state, the military, and Zanu-PF, warning of a potential return to the situation that unfolded in 2017. The analysts discussed their concerns about the country's shift toward a one-party state and the challenges this poses to the citizens and opposition parties in Zimbabwe.

Source - NewZimbabwe