Mugabe warned of tipping point

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As the military increasingly becomes involved in politics, it has emerged that at the height of the economic crisis, soldiers had become disgruntled and President Robert Mugabes security was literally at risk.

The countrys biting food shortages climaxed in 2008 and at this time the situation in the barracks was at tipping point, news that reportedly jolted President Mugabe.

A senior Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe official (name withheld) reportedly informed US embassy officials that food shortages had created an explosive situation at army barracks.

In a leaked US embassy cable, which so far remained unreported, the official told the officials that Reserve Bank governor Gono and army commander Constantine Chiwenga visited army barracks to get a feel of what soldiers were experiencing at the height of the economic crisis.

They observed, and Gono subsequently reported to Mugabe, an explosive situation among defence forces resulting from dire shortages of food and goods, reads the cable leaked by the anti secrecy organisation, Wikileaks.

The official said senior military officials pleaded with Gono to inform President Mugabe of their plight because the governor has the presidents ear.

(He) said (President) Mugabe was jolted by the news and photographs of deprivation in the report that Gono presented to him and which (the official) showed econoff (economic officer), the cable continues.

After seeing the report President Mugabe reportedly asked Gono Why do my ministers lie to me?
In an effort to address the soldiers plight, Gono requested for a meeting with President Mugabe, where he was to recommend that the president suspend the price taskforces aggressive campaign.

The government had then begun a campaign to stop price increases and this had escalated food shortages.

The RBZ official also told the US embassy officials that police boss Augustine Chihuri had told a Cabinet review panel that the defence forces were at a tipping point of discontent.

Gono was also to suggest that President Mugabe clip the wings of then chairman of the taskforce, Obert Mpofu, but should not fire him as this could affect ethnic balance in government.

The official was reportedly upbeat that Gono had enough influence to sway Mugabe.

In a parting shot, the official pleaded with the US Embassy officials not to email him, as his emails were being hacked into and werent safe.

Please, please dont email me, I am being hacked, reads the cable.