Itai Mushekwe/Nancy Mabaya/Mary-Kate Kahari/Malvin Motsi
• Presidential runoff in September highly likely
• Chamisa hot favourite to win first round
• Mnangagwa unlikely to concede defeat
• Fears military establishment will force another pro- Zanu PF Government of National Unity (GNU) in worst case scenario
• Mnangagwa seen clinging to presidency, might allow Chamisa to run government as prime minister
•Top army generals said to be against power sharing, position reportedly shared by Vice President Chiwenga
• United Nations, Britain and China behind Mnangagwa
• European Union in wait and see mode on Zimbabwe
•Two world powers and South Africa on stand-by to facilitate power sharing talks to avert political crisis
• Chamisa might become President after all, if Mnangagwa and his deputies reportedly get their preferred exit deal, immunity and golden handshakes
COLOGNE/VANCOUVER/HARARE/CAPE TOWN– In a bid and pretext to curb terrorist activities, political violence and civil disorder ahead of this July’s historic presidential and parliamentary elections, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, working together with the country’s military and security complex is reportedly going to place Harare under a state of emergency soon, Spotlight Zimabwe, has been told.
A state of emergency is a situation in which a government is empowered to perform actions that it would normally not be permitted. A government can declare such state during a disaster, civil unrest, or armed conflict. State of emergencies, are also a situation of national danger or disaster in which government suspends normal constitutional procedures in order to regain control.
The soft war-like political operation is aimed at among other things, containing poll saboteurs, protecting presidential candidates and international election observers already in the country until results are out, and preventing general lawlessness before the new president is officially announced,high ranking army sources have revealed.
According to intelligence they have provided at hand, Mnangagwa’s inner circle had wanted the state of emergency declared last month, soon after the bomb explosion that rocked a Zanu PF rally at White City stadium in Bulawayo, which resulted in the deaths of two security aides and injuring scores of other people, including members of the presidium and cabinet minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who was airlifted to South Africa for reconstruction surgery after her breast was ripped off.
A genuine case and example unlike the ruling party’s suspiciously mooted state of emergency, is the one in the U.S. declared only yesterday by Minnesota Governor, Mark Dayton, in response to severe weather in the past month that has caused flooding and property damages across much of the state. Dayton’s order, applies to 36 counties and the Red Lake Nation, American media reports.
Mnangagwa’s official wordsman, George Charamba, has denied that his boss is planning to declare a state of emergency, beacuse: “The president will not be driven by vengefulness or a spirit of retribution,” in the wake of the bomb blast and apparent assassination attempt on his life, by culprits inside former first lady, Grace Mugabe’s G40 camp.
“There is going to be a state of emergency a few days before or after the presidential vote, paving way for a nationwide political lockdown for a number of days until the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has announced the presidential election winner,” one senior officer with the defence ministry said. “Nothing is being left to chance, and the army and police are on high alert. Intelligence reports indicate that opposition supporters are going to engage in violent activities and demonstrations. There are also fears that the MDC Alliance might pre-empt the election results, by announcing and declaring victory before ZEC official tabulations are out, which will cause untold mayhem in major cities and towns, thus a strong military presence shall be deployed to preserve peace and order.”
Lockdowns pertain to a state of containment or a restriction of progression. They are also an emergency protocol to prevent people or information escaping, which usually can only be ordered by someone in command, in this case the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander-in-Chief, Mnangagwa himself, his defence minister and VP (Rtd) General Constantino Chiwenga or the equally powerful ZDF Commander, General Philip Valerio Sibanda.
The military has since dismissed allegations that, it is part of Zanu PF’s machinery to intimidate villagers to vote for Mnangagwa, and has vowed not to influence the election results.
In a statement issued this week, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) said its duty is to complement the police in keeping peace during the election period.
“Members of the public should be aware that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) has no direct role in the upcoming elections. Our role is mainly to support the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) in the maintenance of law in the country, before, during and after the harmonized elections,” read the statement.
The statement said members of the military deployed around the country are those traditionally for humanitarian and peace keeping work.
“You may want to know that the deployments we have include troops on various command projects, border control operations in support of the ZRP and some National Parks in support of the Park Rangers.”
However our military insiders yesterday maintained that the army press statement was a public relations stunt, and that Operation Restore Legacy, which toppled former leader, Robert Mugabe, last November in a bloodless coup was still in full gear.
“Chiwenga (Vice President) himself has admitted that Operation Restore Legacy is not yet complete, and it will be mission accomplished if people vote for Mnangagwa. The coming state of emergency, is the right tool needed to cow voters into retaining the status quo, without having to stage another coup.”
Spotlight Zimbabwe, has it on good authority that key international players, including our closest ally South Africa, have been reportedly briefed about the likelihood of the planned state of emergency, in the same vein as they got to be informed about the November 2017 coup in advance.