Former Zipra intelligence supremo, Dumiso Dabengwa has sensationally claimed that Zimbabwe is now under military rule.
A former Home Affairs minister and leader of Zapu, Dabengwa alleged yesterday that crucial national decisions were being made by the military.
“After the November coup, we have actually been living under military rule,” he said. “The decisions are being made at KG VI which is now called (Josiah) Tongogara barracks, and those decisions are then taken to the president for implementation”.
Ever since former president Robert Mugabe was toppled by the military in a soft coup last November, ex-army personnel have assumed influential roles in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
The remarks by Dabengwa come at a time when the civic society has just raised the red flag over the indiscriminate shooting of protesters by soldiers in the streets of Harare, killing seven people.
While the army has lately showed how influential it is, Dabengwa is convinced that the uniformed forces have been running the country’s affairs since 2008 when they helped overturn an MDC victory to restore Mugabe’s rule.
“We have been under military rule since 2008, if you remember. After Mugabe failed, the military stepped in and they made him win: so from that time, the army has been making decisions,” he said.
Affectionately known as the “Black Russian” during the liberation war, the Zapu leader scoffed at declarations by Mnangagwa that there was no need for an inclusive government.
“For Mnangagwa to celebrate and say the judge (Priscilla Chigumba) has pronounced me president is ill-advised… it’s just a narrow margin — more than half of the people in the country don’t have confidence in him,” Dabengwa said.
Chigumba, a former High Court judge, is the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which manages all national polls.
“I also dare say that those who are in the Diaspora, which is something like over three million people, don’t have confidence in him,” said Dabengwa, adding that what Zimbabwe needed at this stage was a transitional authority, which can effectively solve the country’s myriad problems dating as far back as over two decades ago.
“This is why some of us think that we need a transitional authority to be in charge.”
The Zapu leader is predicting the worst under Mnangagwa’s government, urging Zimbabweans to brace for an economic implosion reminiscent of the 2008 era when inflation reached a tipping point.