Minutes of meetings held between army generals and former President Robert Mugabe when the November 2017 military coup underway showed that some elements within the security sector were prepared to keep the President in power.
A Newsday report claims that the then Justice Minister, Happyton Bonjongwe sent a text message to the then Commander of the Air Force, Prence Shiri who was in Dubai To return home and deal with a military coup which was imminent. Bonyongwe had been the head of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) a few before the coup was launched.
Part of the minutes of meetings held between the mediation team, Mugabe and the generals read as follows:
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Instances of friction between the military and the Zimbabwe Republic Police were also drawn to the President’s attention, culminating in what appeared to be a withdrawal of the police force from policing duties at least in Harare.
The President was informed that the command element had made it clear that a counter-force against their operation would constitute an escalation, which was bound to lead to a bloody outcome.
… The mediation team was able to provide facts that dispelled claims that Chiwenga had made a diversion and stop-over in South Africa en-route to Zimbabwe from China in order to meet with dismissed former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his team thought to include Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa and Zimbabwe’s ambassador to South Africa, Ambassador Isaac Moyo.
More importantly, the mediating team told the President that the operation by the command element was not calculated at top leadership change in the party and country, a process which had to be left to the party running in a fair, clean and just way and which had to be superintended by the President himself without undue influence.