PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has skipped his first political rally since last month’s deadly military crackdown on protests so he could explain the unrest to fellow African leaders.
Exiled rival and information minister Professor Jonathan Moyo immediately suggested that, “… the heat is on! Something is happening, or has happened”.
Mnangagwa’s administration has been under pressure amid reports of at least 12 people killed, hundreds wounded and some women raped.
Spokesman George Charamba in a statement said the president spent his Saturday briefing regional leaders. Mnangagwa earlier in the week blamed Western countries for backing the unrest.
However, according to Prof Moyo, there was more to the missed rally than Charamba was admitting in his statement.
Said Moyo on Twitter; “When you see #GeorgeCharamba running around like this on a Saturday, bet your last bond note he’s managing an EMERGENCY.
“Something has happened or is happening. Mnangagwa might have been making EMERGENCY phone calls, but certainly not to heads of state or govt. Watch the space!”
The military remains in the streets, and human rights groups, witnesses and opposition figures continue to report abuses in poor and working-class suburbs.
International condemnation continues over the crackdown on the protests over steep fuel price increases.
The top US diplomat for Africa says the United States is “deeply concerned”.