‘Coup’ in Zimbabwe

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A clique bent on plunging the inclusive government into turmoil to ensure that elections are held this year has taken over the country in a virtual coup, a Cabinet minister and negotiator in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) has said.

Reacting to the recent arrest of National Healing, Integration and Reconciliation co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, MDC secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga Sunday said that and other violations of the GPA, which have been occurring in recent days, were a deliberate ploy to create tension in the government.

“There is a system that is outside the civil system that has taken over the running of the country. Like I have said before, we have a coup, and those in charge want to ensure that the government does not operate smoothly,” she said.

“There are people who want to push for an election this year, by hook or crook, and they want to frustrate us so that we go for early elections. We know their plan, they want us to raise our hands and surrender, but that will not happen. Their best bet is to shoot and kill.

“The arrests are meant to frustrate us,” the minister said.

Asked to comment, President Robert Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, said Misihairabwi-Mushonga and other ministers who believed a coup has taken place should resign from government.

“She is a minister and a member of the government, isn’t it? She is confessing that she is not in charge. And if she is not in charge, the honourable thing to do is to resign. Those that are not in charge, should resign,” said Charamba.

There has been growing speculation that a powerful clique of Zanu PF hardliners and service chiefs was frustrating the implementation of the GPA and subverting Cabinet decisions to create discomfort in the fragile inclusive government.

Mzila-Ndlovu, who is also an MDC negotiator, was arrested on Friday while on his way to Victoria Falls to address a national healing meeting. He is being accused of addressing meetings without police clearance and also fanning tribal hatred.

MDC-T negotiator Elton Mangoma was also arrested last month, in a move which strained relations in the inclusive government.

The two MDCs have for long accused the country’s security agents of selectively applying the law and stifling democracy by stopping them from holding rallies, among other things.

Security issues dominated debate among negotiators when they reviewed the GPA early this month resulting in the issue being referred to the GPA principals, as they could not agree on security sector reforms.