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Zimbabwe’s Army General, Coup Leader Named Mnangagwa’s Deputy |RN

Constantine-Chiwenga

Gen. Constantino Chiwenga

Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed as one of his deputies in the ruling party the leader of the military takeover that led to ex-president Robert Mugabe’s overthrow.
Constantino Chiwenga recently retired as army chief, prompting speculation that he would receive a political post.
The appointment is seen as a first step towards becoming vice-president.
Mr Chiwenga retired this week, more than a month after the army intervened in a row over Mr Mugabe’s succession.
The other deputy Zanu-PF leader is Kembo Mohadi, who was state security minister under the former president.
The 15 November takeover came days after Mr Mnangagwa, then deputy president, was fired by Mr Mugabe and left the country.
That move was seen as an attempt to install Mr Mugabe’s wife Grace as his successor instead of Mr Mnangagwa.
But Mr Mnangagwa had strong ties to the military, and following the intervention he was appointed president and inaugurated on 24 November.
Like Mr Mnangagwa, Mr Chiwenga used to be one of Mr Mugabe’s right-hand men, playing a central role in the seizure of white-owned farms and a brutal crackdown on the opposition after elections in 2008.
But he is said to be committed to rescuing Zimbabwe’s economy, which he believes is in such a dire state that it threatens national security.
Mr. Mnangagwa has already appointed two former military men as ministers.
On 30 November former general Sibusiso Moyo, who played a prominent role in the takeover, was made foreign minister and former air force chief Perence Shiri was named minister of agriculture and land affairs.   (The Sun)

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Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe ‘To Receive £7.5m Plus Salary For Life’ After being Deposed

Rachel Roberts
a group of men riding on the back of Robert Mugabe            © Provided by Independent Print Limited

Deposed Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace are to receive £7.5m as well as immunity from prosecution as part of a reported “golden goodbye” package.

The 93-year-old autocrat, who finally bowed to pressure to resign after 37 years in power, is said to have struck a bargain with the military to allow him and his wife to enjoy their retirement in the lap of luxury in Zimbabwe rather than being forced into exile.

Although ousted by a military takeover, Mr Mugabe will continue to enjoy full military protection as a former head of state as well as his full presidential salary of £112,500 a year until his death, local media reported.

Dubbed “Gucci Grace”, Ms Mugabe is known for her extravagant shopping habits, particularly her love of designer shoes. More than 40 years younger than her husband, she will continue to receive half of his salary after his death.

According to reports, Mr Mugabe negotiated the exit package for himself and his 52-year-old wife through a team of mediators who included a Catholic priest.

An unnamed source told the Zimbabwe Independent: “Government will give him a £3.75m lump sum and then the remainder will be paid out in instalments.

My friend had 'Mugabe fever' – until something terrible happened to him © AP My friend had ‘Mugabe fever’ – until something terrible happened to him  

“Mugabe will also enjoy full medical cover as well as his monthly salary. In the event of his death, his wife will be given half (of his) salary per month.”

Sources claimed that shortly after Mr Mugabe tendered his resignation following the takeover and impeachment proceedings against him, Commander of the Presidential Guard, Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe, called for an emergency Joint Operations Command meeting with uniformed officers.

“We were told that the President had resigned, but that he was granted full immunity. Sanyatwe informed us that Mugabe will continue to enjoy protection as a former head of state,” the unnamed source reportedly told the newspaper.

Mr Mugabe’s 37-year rule, characterised by corruption and oppression, left Zimbabwe with an impoverished population, an unemployment rate of 80 per cent, a virtually worthless currency and crippling debts.

His successor, 75-year-old Emmerson Mnangagwa, a long-time Mugabe ally in the ruling Zanu-PF party, was sworn in on Friday promising a new era, despite widespread fears he will offer more of the same.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe appeares in public in capital Harare© Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe appeares in public in capital Harare  

He has urged Zimbabweans not to carry out any type of “vengeful retribution” against the former president and praised the “immense contribution” Mugabe had made to the country.

Opposition politicians blasted the deal which will allow the Mugabes to remain in their sprawling mansion, known as the Blue Roof, in Harare, complete with domestic and security staff.

“We are not privy to any deal reached with Mugabe, and if there is any deal on money or anything else it is unconstitutional,” said Douglas Mwonzora, secretary general of the Movement for Democratic Change, the main opposition party.

“In terms of the constitution, Mugabe is a retired president and does not have immunity to criminal or civil wrongdoing committed while in office. In Zanu-PF, they can grant each other immunity, but the law does not authorise that.”

Ms Mugabe, her husband’s former secretary who married him and became First Lady in 1996, recently spent millions of dollars buying property and luxury cars in her native South Africa.

Although there remains a certain level of respect for Mr Mugabe among some people in Zimbabwe, particularly for the contribution he made to the country’s wars of liberation in the 1960s and 1970s, there is widespread disgust for his wife and their children due to their lavish spending.

The couple’s son, 25-year-old Bellarmine Chatunga, recently posted a clip on social media taken in a Johannesburg nightclub showing him pouring a £200 bottle of champagne over a £45,000 watch, bragging that “daddy runs the whole country”.

Ms Mugabe’s ambitions to succeed her husband as President finally led to his undoing, triggering the military overthrow after the First Lady and those around her orchestrated the firing of Mr Mnangagwa as Vice President.

At his swearing-in ceremony, Mr Mnangagwa vowed to hold “free and fair” elections by next August, telling the cheering crowds: “The people’s voice will be heard.”                   (The Independent)

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Mugabe Pens Down Strong Words For The People Of Zimbabwe: You Will Appreciate Me When I’m Gone

Robert-Mugabe (2)

Former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe

My fellow Zimbabweans, I am writing this letter and hope that all of you will read it and share it.
My days on this earth are numbered, But I know that once I am gone, you and your children will never forget about me.
I want you to understand that the reason I have stayed long in power, 36 years on, Is because I want to empower all of you my fellow black Zimbabweans, No other president in the entire continent of Africa has done what I have done for you, But you continue to take me for granted.
Do you know that in the whole of Africa, Zimbabweans are the only blacks who own their land? We are the only blacks who own and run means of production, We own our own companies and our own land, that is the true meaning of independence. Political and economic independence. I have fought tooth and nail my entire political life to ensure that all of you have both political and economic independence, I don’t hate white people, no, not at all. What I hate is their thinking that they are better than us, that they can just come to our country and take our resources and our land, And tell us what to do, To that I say no, Today, I am happy that almost all the land is in black hands.
It’s up to you to use the education I gave you to develop the land so it is productive so you can feed yourself, One thing I am proud of is that I worked hard to ensure our natural resources and our land was given back to its rightful owners: You the black people of Zimbabwe.
Go to other countries in Africa, Right here just across Limpopo, In South Africa, Mandela sold out and gave all the land and economy to the whites, The blacks in South Africa will be slaves to white South Africans forever, As long as land is not in the hands of its rightful owners, The Africans, the black man will continue to suffer in his own land.
The real wealth is now in your hands, I wrestled it away from the white people who came to steal it from you, Yes, the world was angry at me and punished the whole country with sanctions, But I don’t care because I know I was doing the right thing, I was empowering my people, you should take care of the land and the industries I have given you.

I did my part, the ball is now in your court, do your part, you will remember me and appreciate me for what I have done for you when I am gone….

Your president and leader of Africa for Africans

Robert Gabriel Mugabe

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Inside Robert Mugabe’s Lavish ‘Blue Roof’ Mansion He Shares With Wife Grace |RN

Jamie Bullen
                       © AP

This is the lavish mansion owned by Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace while millions of desperate Zimbabweans face starvation.

Photographs of the plush palace, dubbed ‘Blue Roof’, show the 93-year-old tyrant immerses himself in luxury, far away from the pain and suffering felt by ordinary people in the cash-strapped nation.

a large white building with grass in front of a house              © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

The 25-bedroom house, valued at $10 million (£7.5m) in Harare is based in 44-acre grounds fenced off from the public and protected by a multi-million pound security system, The Zimbabwean reported.

Images show the extravagant property decked with marble floors, expensive chandeliers and a swimming pool.

a large pool of water             © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited  

The pictures were released as evidence Mugabe and his wife lavished millions of themselves while leaving millions to suffer.

They emerged as Mugabe desperately clings onto power after he was sacked as leader of the country’s ruling Zanu-PF party, having driven Zimbabwe to economic collapse.

a large stone building            © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited  

Yesterday, party chiefs dumped the man who has led the African nation for the past 37 years and replaced him with his former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa – who Mugabe himself sacked two weeks ago.

It was that decision then which sparked fears among army chiefs that Mugabe was trying to pave the way for his younger wife Grace to seize control of power after he died.

a living room filled with furniture and vase        © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited  

The ruling party later announced he MUST resign as president by midday today (10am UK time) or face impeachment.

So far, Mugabe has ignored the ultimatum.

a kitchen with a sink and a mirror              © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

The decision to dump Mugabe means the former state security chief Mnangagwa – known as “The Crocodile” – is now in line to head an interim post-Mugabe unity government that will focus on rebuilding ties with the outside world and stabilising an economy in freefall.

There were scenes of celebration – with singing and dancing – inside the chamber of the Zanu-PF headquarters after the decision to sack Mugabe.

a group of people in a room              © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited  

”He has been expelled,” one of delegates told Reuters. ”Mnangagwa is our new leader.”

However, the news does NOT mean that he has lost the Presidency – yet.

Officially he is still in power – although many have questioned whether that is in reality true after reports earlier this week that he was effectively under house arrest – but it’s a defining moment.

a group of people in a room                © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

It is the first step in the process of removing Mugabe as President.

The party also sacked Grace Mugabe – expelling her for life – along with Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Ignatius Chombo and Patrick Zhuwao who were seized in what many international observers view as a coup earlier this week.

Zimbabwe’s ruling party had been widely expected to dismiss Mugabe as its leader today to force him to call an end to his 37 years in power peacefully following the coup, the head of the liberation war veterans said.

a bedroom with a bed and a chair in a room                   © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

Earlier, speaking to Reuters as he walked into an extraordinary meeting of ZANU-PF’s central committee, Chris Mutsvangwa said Mugabe was running out of time to negotiate his departure and should leave the country while he could.

“We are going all the way,” Mutsvangwa said. “He’s trying to bargain for a dignified exit.”

It met earlier today – amid unconfirmed reports that the embattled 93-year-old leader has gone on hunger strike in protest at the de facto military coup earlier this week – and sacked the man who has led them for the last 37 years.

To add insult to injury, they then appointed as their new leader the man Mugabe had sacked himself two weeks ago, his former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

It was that decision then which sparked fears among army chiefs that Mugabe was trying to pave the way for his younger wife Grace to seize control of power after he died.

The ruling party later announced he MUST resign as president by midday tomorrow (10am UK time) or face impeachment.

The decision to dump Mugabe means the former state security chief Mnangagwa – known as “The Crocodile” – is now in line to head an interim post-Mugabe unity government that will focus on rebuilding ties with the outside world and stabilising an economy in freefall.

There were scenes of celebration – with singing and dancing – inside the chamber of the Zanu-PF headquarters after the decision to sack Mugabe.

”He has been expelled,” one of delegates told Reuters. ”Mnangagwa is our new leader.”

 However, the news does NOT mean that he has lost the Presidency – yet.

But he is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power pauperised one of Africa’s most promising states.

 

Once a regional breadbasket, Zimbabwe saw its economy collapse after the seizure of white-owned farms in the early 2000s, followed by runaway money-printing that catapulted inflation to 500 billion percent in 2008.

a group of people in a room

(Source: Mirror)

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Robert Mugabe Has Agreed To Resign, Drafts His Resignation Letter – CNN Says

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has agreed to stand down and his resignation letter has been drafted, CNN said on Monday, citing a source familiar with his negotiations with the generals who seized power in Harare last week.
Under the terms of the deal, Mugabe and his wife Grace would be granted full immunity, CNN said. Two senior government sources told Reuters late on Sunday that Mugabe had agreed to resign but did not know details of his departure.

(Source: Reuters)

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Zimbabwe Calm As Regional Leaders Hold Talks With Mugabe, Military |RN

-AU urges restoration of constitutional order

-Opposition groups call on President to resign

Zimbabwe was calm yesterday even as it faces uncertainty amid quiet talks to resolve the political crisis and the likely end of President Robert Mugabe’s decades-long rule.

Envoys from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are trying to reach a deal on the future of Zimbabwe and Mugabe who has led the country for 37 years. SADC officials converged on Botswana for a meeting chaired by South Africa and Angola. Their recommendations will be given to heads of state and government.

Reports said SADC, ministers were already in Harare meeting with Mugabe and the army separately.

Mugabe has been in military custody, reportedly with his wife, and there was no sign of the recently fired deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled the country last week, Associated Press reported. The military remained in the streets of Harare.

Witnesses confirmed a sighting of Mugabe’s motorcade moving through the capital, Harare, its destination unknown. They said a helicopter was hovering at the same time the motorcade was sighted. It was not immediately clear where the motorcade was going.

African Union leader Alpha Conde, said: “The African Union expresses its serious concern regarding the situation unfolding in Zimbabwe.” He went on to insist that “constitutional order… be restored immediately” and called “on all stakeholders to show responsibility and restraint”.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for calm, non-violence and restraint after gunfire and explosions were heard near Mugabe’s compound.

Seizing on the political limbo to speak out, a range of voices yesterday urged Mugabe to step aside and for the country to transition into free and fair elections. Reports said sources suggest Mugabe may be resisting pressure to step down, insisting he remains the legitimate president.

Sticking points are said to include what role Mnangagwa will play and the security of Mugabe’s family.

ZANU-PF’s United Kingdom representative, Nick Mangwana, has suggested to the BBC that Mugabe could remain nominally in power until the party congress in December, when Mnangagwa would be formally installed as party and national leader.

Head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and the main opposition leader in Zimbabwe, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai said yesterday: “In the interests of the people, Mr Robert Mugabe must resign… immediately”.

Tsvangirai, who has been abroad receiving treatment for cancer, also called for a “negotiated all-inclusive transitional mechanism” that would lead to “comprehensive reforms for free and fair elections to be held”.

This has been echoed by another Zimbabwean opposition leader, Tendai Biti, who told the BBC: “It is urgent that we go back to democracy… that we go back to legitimacy but we need a transitional period and I think, I hope, that dialogue can now be opened between the army and Zimbabweans.”

The People’s Democratic Party said in a statement yesterday that the transitional authority should be “made up of competent Zimbabweans whose mandate will be to put in place measures to turn around the economy” and build a better society for all.

Zimbabwean vice president who was fired in 2014, Joice Mujuru, called for “free, fair and credible elections.” She told reporters she was heartened by assurances given so far that condemn violence and encourage peace. She said she has not been contacted by the military or Mnangagwa’s people.

More than 100 civil society groups have issued a statement urging Mugabe to peacefully step aside and asked the military to quickly restore order and respect the constitution. A joint statement by churches also appealed for calm. The Zimbabwean pastor whose social media campaign led to the largest anti-government protests in a decade called on citizens to “stand up for peace.”

Evan Mawarire, who founded the #ThisFlag movement, asked: “Should we just sit and wait or shall we at least be part of this transition process?” He urged that citizens not wait for regional leaders to broker the next phase. Members of the opposition, civil society and religious groups called for calm and respect for rights.  (The Sun)

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Robert Mugabe Appears In Public For The First Time Since Military Coup |RN

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Zimbabwe General Visited Beijing Just Days Before Executing Coup |RN

By Adrian Blomfield

The general behind Zimbabwe’s coup may have sought Chinese approval days before the army launched its takeover of Robert Mugabe’s government, it emerged on Wednesday.

Mr Mugabe remained under house arrest last night, still president of Zimbabwe if in name alone, a prisoner of once slavishly loyal generals who now hold the country’s fate in their hands.

As the former British colony faced a deeply uncertain future under military tutelage, a trip to Beijing by Gen Constantine Chiwenga, the head of the armed forces, last week has reignited concerns about rising Chinese influence in Africa.

The general held high-level meetings with officials from the Defence Ministry, and visited a school to observe a Shaolin Kung Fu class.

Although the Chinese foreign ministry insisted Gen Chiwenga’s visit was a “routine visit”, analysts have suggested that Beijing may have given the rebellious army chief its tacit blessing in advance.

Mr Mnangagwa and his allies have made conscious efforts to court Beijing as both an investor and a military partner.

Zimbabwe Army General Constantino Chiwenga addresses a media conference© JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images Zimbabwe Army General Constantino Chiwenga addresses a media conference

China, which has displaced Western rivals to become Africa’s largest trading partner and is a major investor in Zimbabwe, notably declined to call for Mr Mugabe’s restoration yesterday, despite his long ties to Beijing dating back to the Cold War.

Last year, China pledged to invest $4bn in Zimbabwe for investment, loans and aid over the next three years.

Responding to the coup, the Chinese foreign ministry merely stated that Beijing was “paying close attention to developments”, prompting suggestions that China had agreed to sacrifice “Comrade” Mugabe” in the interests of an orderly succession.                       (The Telegraph)

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Zimbabwe Crisis: We Are Targeting Criminals, Not Mugabe, Says Army |RN

Constantine-Chiwenga

Commmander of Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Gen. Constantino Chiwenga

Army General Constantino Chiwenga Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces addressing a media conference held at the Zimbabwean Army Headquarters in Harare. Photo: AFP

Zimbabwe’s military has read out a statement after taking over the national broadcaster, ZBC, saying it has taken action to “target criminals”, BBC reports.

However, it said this was not “a military takeover of government” and President Robert Mugabe was safe.

Heavy gunfire and artillery were heard in northern suburbs of the capital, Harare, early on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe’s envoy to South Africa, Isaac Moyo, earlier dismissed talk of a coup, saying the government was “intact”.

The statement read out by Maj Gen Sibusiso Moyo came hours after soldiers overran the headquarters of ZBC. He said: “We wish to assure the nation that his excellency the president… and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed.”

The statement added: “We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes… that are causing social and economic suffering in the country. As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”

The statement did not name those targeted but a government source quoted by Reuters said Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo was among those detained.

It is not clear who is leading the military action.

Other key points of the statement included:

  • Citizens should remain calm and limit unnecessary movement
  • The military assures the Zimbabwean judiciary that its independence is guaranteed
  • Security services should “co-operate for the good of our country” and any provocation would “be met with an appropriate response”
  • All leave for the defence forces is cancelled and they should return to barracks immediately

(Punch)

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Robert Mugabe Under House Arrest, Says Jacob Zuma |The Republican News

Mugabe-under-house-arrest

Scenes from military situation in Zimbabwe

President Robert Mugabe is under house arrest in Zimbabwe, South Africa said Wednesday, adding it was sending envoys on behalf of the region’s bloc after the army apparently took over.

“President Zuma spoke to President Robert Mugabe earlier today who indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine,” the South African government said in a statement.

“Zuma, in his capacity as Chair of the Southern African Development Community, is sending Special Envoys to Zimbabwe.”

South Africa will send its intelligence and defence ministers, the statement said.

South Africa is Zimbabwe’s powerful southern neighbour and is home to hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwean migrants.

It has long pursued a policy of quiet diplomacy with Mugabe as Zimbabwe has previously been engulfed by a string of serious political and economic crises.

AFP

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