Zimbabwe’s army has reportedly been placed on high alert following reports that ex-president Robert Mugabe’s allies could be “regrouping and planning to foment disharmony within the military”.
According to the privately owned Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander Phillip Valerio Sibanda has warned the soldiers against taking bribes from ex-Zanu-PF officials linked to former first lady Grace Mugabe’s Generation 40 (G40) group.
The G40 members, who were expelled from the ruling Zanu-PF party when Mugabe was ousted in November, were reportedly coalescing around Grace.
Reports last weak indicated that members of the G40 were about to launch a new party in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao, who was also a member of the G40 said, however, that the new political outfit was not an avenue to bring back” his ousted uncle.
The group was said to have over the past few weeks intensified its sharp attacks on the new government, criticising the military’s involvement in ending Mugabe’s 37-years reign.
The Zimbabwe Independent said that as fears of a military disturbance grew, Sibanda had since told the presidential guard unit that “there are clandestine plans to foment disharmony within the military following the formation of the new political party”.
The newly appointed military chief was also believed to be on a nationwide tour to speak to the soldiers on issues including the welfare of troops, the role of G40, the operation which led to Mugabe’s fall, and the plot to bomb the ex-president’s dairy.
He was, according to sources, accompanied by incoming Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) commander Lieutenant General Edzai Absolom Chimonyo, army spokesperson Alphios Makotore and other senior officers.