06 June 2008

Zimbabwe now partly a military junta

The Daily Telegraph disturbingly reports that the Joint Operations Command (JOC) committee that looks after national security in Zimbabwe appears to be dominating government in the country - given its suspension of work by overseas aid agencies. The Telegraph claims:

"They ensured Mr Mugabe did not step down after his defeat in the presidential election's first round in March and are now masterminding a campaign of terror to suppress the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and guarantee victory for Mr Mugabe in the June 27 run-off.

The most powerful figures on the JOC are Gen Constantine Chiwenga, the overall military chief; Augustine Chihuri, the national police commissioner, and Gen Paradzai Zimondi, the commander of the prison service."

They are all beneficiaries of Mugabe's confiscation of farms, and his kleptocratic rule. Make no mistake of it, this is not a positive move. It appears Mugabe is useful to them, but he also needs them at least as much as they need him. Apparently the generals convinced him to not concede after the first round.

Tiseke Kasambala, a Zimbabwe specialist at Human Rights Watch, said there was an "increasing militarisation of the state". "The evidence points to an increasing role by the army in state affairs," she said. "The army is no longer just in barracks, waiting to protect the country. The army is out there, taking a role in the day-to-day government of the country."

Make no mistake about it, this is a symbiotic relationship of oppression. The generals get some moral authority from Mugabe, who rallies some support and gets the respect of his felching submissive lickspittle Thabo Mbeki and others. He needs them to maintain power and protect him. However it does not bode well for the upcoming election run off. Assuming the generals and Mugabe seize power from that, the world can look closer at South Africa - which has the greatest influence over the regime. Nevertheless, even a bullet in Mugabe, as proposed by Silent Running, and previously by myself, may not be sufficient now.

Meanwhile, Christopher Hitchens has an insightful article on Slate which describes why Thabo Mbeki fawns to Mugabe. It is linked to Mugabe's disdain for Nelson Mandela, the Maoist connections of Mugabe vs the Soviet connections of the ANC, and African politics more generally. Worth a read.


Anonymous said...

I think that Hitchens misses the point.

Mugabe is like all the rest of the kleptocratic Dictators who have lead pseudo-democratic African countries - a selfish greedy thug.

There are enough warning signs from the ANC elite that they would gladly head down the same road. Mbeki (as did the deified Mandela) has presided over such massive self-enrichment by this elite, including his own take from the 100's of millions of US$'s paid out in the Arms Scandal, BEE and just ordinary theft from the public purse.

Mbeki and Mugabe are two peas in a pod, the only differenc at this stage is that Mbeki has lost total power over the ANC - and the future now looks worse for SA at the prospect of an amoral, violient thug - Zuma - as President looms bright on the horison.

There is no ideology involved - although it has been used by all the 'liberation' movements to get arms and financial support from the two communist powerhouses (who have always wanted to get their hands on Africa's mineral wealth and prevent Western powers continued domination of such) - it has all been about greed and power in which the biggest, most violent groups of thugs have risen to the top through elimination of their opposition.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the tribal links also Scott.

I think you will find that Mugabe and the Army top brass will be form the same tribe/subtribe.