There are two sides of the story in the ongoing power battle in the Capital of Zimbabwe, Harare. Many are happy and think it’s a fresh start. They feel free. Others may want to share this happiness and freedom but are getting arrested and tortured, some were murdered in Harare after the military took control of the city.
The army cannot call it a coup to avoid sanctions by other government – but by all means, it is a coup. Many Zimbabweans are fearing for their life. Among them are high ranking government officials including cabinet members. In their heart, some want to cheer, but fearing for their life and the future of a democratic Zimbabwe – they want the United Nations to come in.
The focus is on removing President Mugabe and the media both local and international have not looked at the operations of the army. The demonstrations have been coordinated by the Military to give a civilian face yet the whole exercise is a military take over. Even the celebration by the opposition is not far-sighted.
On one site one finds scenes of public euphoria not seen since independence in 1980, huge crowds marched and sang their way through Harare and other cities on Saturday, demanding the end of Mugabe’s authoritarian rule.
Many of the protesters were cowed and bussed to Harare and of course, joined by people in the city. “It is a dangerous game”, a former government offical told eTN.” The demonstrations have been coordinated by the Military to give a civilian face yet the whole exercise is a military take over. Even the celebration by the opposition is not far-sighted.”
“The issue is while there are coordinated demonstrations here led by the army which has been met with jubilation, there is a rampant abuse of many innocent people being abducted and maimed by the army.”
Close Security Director Albert Ngulube who was abducted was beaten with a visibly swollen face seen in the photo above. He is hospitalized and many others are under detention by the Military.
Reliable sources tell eTN about many people that may object to the army’s takeover are getting picked up. An Assistant Director for Counter Intelligence Mr Tachivei was murdered after being taken away and beaten to death.
According to eTN Sources on the ground, the situation is fast deteriorating. A young Dr. Paul Chimedza recently appointed as Provincial Minister for Masvingo Province who used to be Commander Defence Forces personal doctor was abducted while he was moving to South Africa. He was abducted by the members of the Four Brigade at the instructions of the Military hierarchy. Personal differences emanating from Masvingo Province are at play whereby Josiah Hungwe, Chadzamira and one Matutu are said to be behind the alleged beating and subsequent killing of the renowned medical Dr. Paul Chimedza.
While this is happening in Zimbabwe, the United Nations, the African Union, and SADC have done little.
The African Union in Addis Abeba issued a statement by the chairperson on the situation in Zimbabwe. “The Chairperson of the Commission stresses that it is crucial that the crisis is resolved in a manner that promoted democracy and human rights, as well as the socio-economic development of Zimbabwe. The African Union condemns in the strongest terms what appears to be a coup d’etat and reierates its full support for the country’s legal institution. The African Union is calling for the restoration of constiutuional order immediately and calls on all stakeholders to show responsibility and restaraint in order to ensure respect for the lives, fundamental freedoms and inegrity of Zimbabwe.
Finally, the African Union urges the military to put an immediate end to their action and to submit to constitutional legality.”
With the Military is now controlling things, this eliminates the chance for a democratic transition. While there is a conflict, there is rampant victimization, beatings, and killings conducted by the military.
A high-level government official told eTN: “Our clarion call is for intervention by the United Nations as soon as is possible. These military maneuvering going into the future will be a thorn in the flesh for democratic processes to happen.”
“We fear, more and more abductions will lead to loss of lives that no one is able to question the military. Such judicial killings and maiming of people warrants for the United Nations to intervene. Our people need to be protected.”
“We are witnessing uncharacteristic and systematic killings. The UN needs to come in and help the people of Zimbabwe to save people from being killed. This is not good for democracy and even the opposition is in danger. The army factor in Zimbabwean politics and the use of the barrel to push themselves or push individuals into office spells doom to for the future of democracy.”
Yesterday’s marches in Harare came after a historic week in which the military seized power and put Mugabe under house arrest in response to his sacking of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, a perceived rival of Mugabe’s powerful 52-year-old wife Grace who had increasingly voiced her ambition to succeed her spouse. Nine of the 10 regional branches of Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF have now called for him to go.
Zimbabwean army generals will pile further pressure on President Robert Mugabe to resign today (Sunday) after tens of thousands of overjoyed protesters celebrated the apparent end of his 37-year regime.
Mugabe’s hold on power was broken this week when the military took over in a dispute over who would succeed the 93-year-old president, the world’s oldest head of state.
Mugabe remains in office but now faces overwhelming opposition from the generals, much of the Zimbabwean public and from within ZANU-PF, the once loyal party now calling for his exit.
President Robert Mugabe will meet the command element of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Sunday (today) according to local media reports.
The two sides first met for talks on Thursday, smiling in photographs that attempted to present a dignified image of the tense process of negotiating Mugabe’s departure.
Saturday’s gatherings were peaceful, despite a stand-off when armed soldiers barred protesters from reaching Mugabe’s official residence, the State House.
The demonstrations were called by independence war veterans and included citizens of all ages, jubilant that Mugabe appeared to be on his way out.
A symbolic location, Highfield was where Mugabe gave his first speech after returning from exile ahead of independence in 1980.
In central Harare, a group of young men tore down a green metal street sign bearing Robert Mugabe’s name and smashed it repeatedly on the road.
Such an open display of defiance would have been unthinkable just a week ago as dissent was routinely crushed by security forces.
Major General Sibusiso Moyo, whose statement on state TV marked the completion of the take-over in the early hours of Wednesday, told reporters at the protests that the people of Zimbabwe are “disciplined, orderly and they are unified”.
The majority of Zimbabweans have only known life under Mugabe’s rule, which has been defined by violent suppression, economic collapse, and international isolation.
Sources suggest Mugabe has been battling to negotiate a delay to his exit and to ensure future protection for him and his family.
He attended a graduation ceremony on Friday, in a show of defiance over the talks with General Constantino Chiwenga, who led the military power grab.
Among the many people arrested this is a list of cabinet-level officials arrested or under house arrest:
Robert Mugabe, President
Grace Mugabe, First Lady
Ministers in custody:
Ignatius Chombo, Finance Minister
Jonathan Moyo, Higher Education Minister
Savious Kasukuwere, Local Government Minister
State Security Official
Augustine Chihuro, Police Commissioner General