By Lloyd Takawira
IN a reminiscing 2017 political turbulent style, the Zimbabwe government on Wednesday denied rumours of an “imminent military coup” at a surprise news conference attended by military chiefs and state security ministers.
Addressing a press conference at Munhumutapa Building, Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe denied an alleged plot to topple President Mnangagwa from power.
Flanked by State Security Minister, Owen Ncube and a host of Military Chiefs, Kazembe said :
“The government has noted with grave concern these rumours suggesting an imminent military coup d’état in the country. The government would like to unequivocally debunk and dismiss these rumours with the contempt they deserve,” Kazembe said following a meeting of the Working Committee of the National Security Council.
“The purveyors of this false coup narrative claim former Zanu PF members who fell by the wayside and largely went into self-imposed exile at the advent of the new dispensation in November 2017 are coming together in a united front with some named senior government leaders, some members of the security forces and elements of the opposition formations. This is in a bid to taint the image of the president, to undermine the legitimacy of the president and to render the country ungovernable.”
Kazembe said the rumour, which he claimed was being fueled by “merchants of discord” including opposition politicians, journalists and religious leaders further suggested that once a coup succeeded, a National Transitional Authority would be established to “govern Zimbabwe minus Zanu PF for an unspecified period.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, there is no coup in the making, nor is there any form of transitional authority or inclusive government that is contemplated by the new dispensation except in the fertile imagination of the purveyors of this false narrative.”
However analysts dismissed the government’s statement saying “there is no smoke without fire”.
Reason Wafawarova, a staunch Zanu-PF supporter based in Australia who has of late been critical of President Mnangagwa’s leadership style said, “Quite tellingly, even Zanu-PF members are convinced that the military bosses would not go as far as holding a press conference and issuing a statement if indeed no coup was brewing.
“When you see security chiefs addressing a press conference, know for a fact that whatever they are dismissing is imminent. They do not respond to lies,” Wafawarova said.
Constitutional Law expert Dr Alex Magaisa writing on his BSR column said : “Why is Zimbabwe denying “rumours of an imminent coup“?
The government says it’s responding to “widespread rumours” a coup. But few, if any, had heard of this rumour until the security organ’s press conference today. What is going on and why? “
Prominent journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said “…talk about a coup are side shows meant to DISTRACT us from the real issue, #CovidGate
A coup is a matter between those who are said to want to do it, and those who are afraid of it!
It is NONE of our business…”
Firebrand MDC Alliance Deputy National Chair, Job Sikhala responding to the allegations said, “It was not surprising that Kazembe Kazembe of ZANU PF issued a statement of threat against my person lumping myself to delusions of a coup in our country. Firstly, I am a grounded democrat who will never ever buy into coups.
It was surprising that Kazembe Kazembe in his lack of understanding of my persona threatened my person in the company of our National Security Services Chiefs who are the people’s final line of defense. He stated that myself and my exiled brother Saviour Kasukuwere peddle lies about an imminent coup in our country. This statement is not only a lie but delusion of grandeur. I am grounded in the people and believe in people power not any other force.”