The influence that the army has exerted over the past decades has shaped Zimbabwe’s regime into a neopatrimonial, personalistic, military oligarchy with a primary role of keeping ZANU-PF and its leadership in power. Any political transition dialogue requires them on the table.
The army generals “phased out” Mugabe and introduce another member of the oligarchy into the presidency – Mugabe’s former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who thus far has proved that he does not understand how to govern a modern state; he is bereft of statecraft!
Mugabe’s fall and Mnangagwa’s ascendancy has proved that whoever takes over the reins of power in Zimbabwe under ZANU PF is unlikely to change the status quo because of the military FACTOR. The regime and its many clients (including the military) have stayed intact; DISMANTLE.
The undeniable truth is that the ZANU PF militarized patronage network that has been running the country since 1980 has been intensified, emboldened and fortified by covertly, overtly and systematically placing the security apparatus at the centre of governing the state.
Actually, President Mnangagwa has gone further than former President Mugabe in conniving with securocrats to capture key civilian institutions responsible for giving citizens opportunities to freely participate in democratic processes.
The ubiquitous presence of the army is civilian and public affairs of the state do not point to a new era of running the democratic affairs of the state. There is no new dispensation or second republic in a securocratic state.
There is democratic regression rather than events leading to a possible democratic breakthrough from the Mugabe rea because civilian politics is not the arena of competence by the military.
… Instead of bringing sanity and real freedom of choice to ZANU, Mnangagwa went on to finish such a dream by providing himself and the party for capture by securocrats. Today, key decisions are made by military personnel retired purposefully to grab political posts from civilians.
For the first time in history, Zim has witnessed retiring of four generals who led the November 2017 coup d’etat to occupy most important policy-making positions in the country such as the foreign affairs portfolio, agriculture portfolio, ZANU-PF commissariat, Vice-President post.
If this level of militarization has been done at the helm of decision making, open to public scrutiny, and before being elected, what more in those bodies, commissions, and agencies that are not usually in the public eye after 2018? With respect that cannot be deemed progress.
The era of the militarization of state and civilian institutions with soldiers with tattered human rights records cannot be described as a new era, it’s actually an error. Pfeerorists can shout all they want but we are writing and recording history and the books are coming fast!
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