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Zimbabwean Generals Have 'Taken Robert Mugabe's Power'
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 6-5-2008 | David Blair

Posted on 06/05/2008 1:17:34 PM PDT by blam

Zimbabwean generals have 'taken Robert Mugabe's power'

By David Blair, Diplomatic Editor
Last Updated: 9:03PM BST 05/06/2008

Zimbabwe's generals have mounted a "military coup by stealth", reducing President Robert Mugabe to a "figurehead", a senior western diplomat said.

The tight circle of "securocrats", who sit on the Joint Operations Command (JOC) committee, are now believed to be in day-to-day charge of Zimbabwe's government.

They ensured Mr Mugabe did not step down after his defeat in the presidential election's first round in March and are now masterminding a campaign of terror to suppress the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and guarantee victory for Mr Mugabe in the June 27 run-off.

The government indefinitely suspended all work by aid groups and non-governmental organisations, accusing them of breaching their terms of registration.

Mr Mugabe is a useful figurehead who still commands the deference of other African leaders, notably President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.

But the western diplomat said Mr Mugabe's power had ebbed away and Zimbabwe was now run by a "junta".

"This is a military coup by stealth," he said. "There are no tanks on people's lawns, but the Joint Operations Command runs this country."

The most powerful figures on the JOC are Gen Constantine Chiwenga, the overall military chief; Augustine Chihuri, the national police commissioner, and Gen Paradzai Zimondi, the commander of the prison service.

Air Marshal Perence Shiri, the commander of the air force, who masterminded a brutal military campaign against Zimbabwe's minority Ndebele people in the 1980s, is also part of the circle, although believed to be less influential.

All four fought in Mr Mugabe's guerrilla army during the war against white rule in the 1970s. Each has publicly proclaimed their support for the ruling Zanu-PF party.

They have also benefited from Mr Mugabe's seizure of white-owned land, with farms and business concessions falling into their hands, allowing them to amass considerable wealth.

The diplomat said after the first round of the election on March 29, Mr Mugabe, 84, "almost went" when it became clear that Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader, had won significantly more votes.

But a pivotal meeting of the JOC on March 30 convinced him to stay.

"The generals didn't let him go," said the diplomat. From that moment, Mr Mugabe was "beholden to his senior generals to hold office".

Another source inside Zimbabwe confirmed: "He [Mugabe] was prepared to concede but the generals, whose positions would become uncertain with his departure, prevented that from happening," he said.

Other observers backed the diplomat's view that Zimbabwean politics had fundamentally changed.

Tiseke Kasambala, a Zimbabwe specialist at Human Rights Watch, said there was an "increasing militarisation of the state".

"The evidence points to an increasing role by the army in state affairs," she said.

"The army is no longer just in barracks, waiting to protect the country. The army is out there, taking a role in the day-to-day government of the country."

Mr Mugabe does not fear his generals will actually overthrow him – they still need him as the regime's titular leader – or he would not have travelled to Rome for the United Nations food summit this week.

However, observers believe Mr Mugabe's age and his new dependence on the generals means he is no longer the sole arbiter of Zimbabwe's fate.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: coup; generals; mugabe; zimbabwe

1 posted on 06/05/2008 1:17:34 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Terrific. Another Burma. Or Minor Mahr, whatever.


2 posted on 06/05/2008 1:19:30 PM PDT by AU72
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To: Clive

Zim Ping.


3 posted on 06/05/2008 1:22:24 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
he would not have travelled to Rome for the United Nations food summit this week.

Hey euroweenies, how's that travel ban on Mugabe workin out for ya?
4 posted on 06/05/2008 1:22:41 PM PDT by cripplecreek (I miss the days when only the politicians were unethical.)
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To: blam

This the way down to anarchy. Zimbabwe does not have far left to fall. I think the President of SA knows this and only allows it so that he can move in and pick up the pieces when the bottom finishes dropping out.


5 posted on 06/05/2008 1:23:03 PM PDT by .cnI redruM (..."Remember, Green today, Red tomorrow".)
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To: blam

These thugs wouldn’t be classified as 3rd rate street punks in any American city. Yet they get to ruin an entire country, which was once quite prosperous.

Nothing wrong there that several hundred billion American taxpayer dollars wouldn’t solve, eh Mr. Obama?


6 posted on 06/05/2008 1:24:29 PM PDT by henkster (Obama '08: A 3rd world state, here & now!)
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To: blam

What a surprise... corrupt generals stage a coup d’etat by stealth in thoroughly corrupt Zimbabwe, and Robert Mugabe the thrice-dam’ned dictator doesn’t even know it.

Pray for Rhodesia.


7 posted on 06/05/2008 1:25:03 PM PDT by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghéill mi do dhuine. Fàg am bealach.)
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To: blam

“Change you can believe in!” ??


8 posted on 06/05/2008 1:25:33 PM PDT by Neidermeyer
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To: blam

This is where socialism leads. Redistibution of wealth, economic collapse, power vacuum, then military takeover. Change for the sake of change.


9 posted on 06/05/2008 1:26:17 PM PDT by Telepathic Intruder
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To: blam
"reducing President Robert Mugabe to a figurehead"

Finish the job then dammit, reduce him to just a head - on a bloody PIKE!
10 posted on 06/05/2008 1:30:35 PM PDT by mkjessup (Romania had the Ceausescus, America has the Clintons.)
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To: blam

Say hello to the new boss...


11 posted on 06/05/2008 1:31:26 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: blam

Until someone takes the Mugabeasts head, he’s not dealt with sufficiently.

Junta or no, as long as he breathes, Rhodesia suffers.


12 posted on 06/05/2008 1:31:42 PM PDT by Dr.Zoidberg ("Shut the hell up, New York Times, you sanctimonious whining jerks!" - Craig Ferguson)
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To: blam
No worries Africa! China is on it's way to liberate you! In twenty years or so all your land and resources will benefit your people and you will be restored! No more dictators no more oppression!

Oh, never mind...

13 posted on 06/05/2008 1:35:02 PM PDT by poobear (tagline is on a coffee break!)
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To: blam

Burma in Africa. Is this the new template?


14 posted on 06/05/2008 1:56:33 PM PDT by arthurus
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To: Telepathic Intruder
‘I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.’

from:
The Audacity of Hope

15 posted on 06/05/2008 1:57:31 PM PDT by arthurus
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To: blam; Clive

Bump!


16 posted on 06/05/2008 1:58:50 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: blam

“They have also benefited from Mr Mugabe’s seizure of white-owned land, with farms and business concessions falling into their hands, allowing them to amass considerable wealth.”

Which has caused their nation to starve since the whites raised all the food. SA saw it too.


17 posted on 06/05/2008 2:30:35 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: blam
Image hosted by Photobucket.com africawinsagain...
18 posted on 06/05/2008 3:57:51 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist ©® - CTHULHU/SHOGGOTH '08 = Nothing LESS!!!)
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To: blam; Cincinatus' Wife; sarcasm; happygrl; Byron_the_Aussie; robnoel; GeronL; ZOOKER; Bonaparte; ...

-


19 posted on 06/05/2008 4:23:18 PM PDT by Clive
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U.S., British envoys freed after Zimbabwe attack
(Mugabe backers-threaten to ‘burn’ diplomats alive)
MSNBC ^ | 6/5/2008 | MSNBC News Services
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2008 10:57:28 AM by Smogger
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2026472/posts


20 posted on 06/05/2008 4:34:45 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: henkster
"Yet they get to ruin an entire country, which was once quite prosperous."

I expect no less from an Obama administration...

It will be far worse than Carter's administration, and that is probably why Carter endorsed him --- hoping to be removed as most incompetent and destructive president in the Republic's history.

21 posted on 06/05/2008 7:59:11 PM PDT by river rat (Semper Fi - You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; george76; ...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2026652/posts?page=20#20


22 posted on 06/05/2008 10:38:59 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: DieHard the Hunter

Rhodesia has been utterly dead for many years now


23 posted on 06/06/2008 3:07:36 AM PDT by wafflehouse (RE-ELECT NO ONE !)
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To: Proud_USA_Republican

Replying to you from your comment in the locked post

Thought you’d be interest in this blog post I saw last month. Not well sourced, but it does kind of fill in the obvious blanks.

http://www.zimbabwetoday.co.uk/2008/04/are-chinese-tro.html


24 posted on 06/06/2008 4:37:36 AM PDT by underground
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To: DieHard the Hunter
What a surprise... corrupt generals stage a coup d’etat by stealth in thoroughly corrupt Zimbabwe, and Robert Mugabe the thrice-dam’ned dictator doesn’t even know it.

I am not buying any of this all supplied by unnamed sources.

They are trying to say the “see it not really his fault”. Big BS.

25 posted on 06/06/2008 11:35:28 AM PDT by usurper (Spelling or grammatical errors in this post can be attributed to the LA City School System)
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To: AU72

I think it’s Myanmar.

I fear that Southern Rhodesia could become a blueprint for Obama-nation, should we not rise up and send him skulking back to the Chicago ghettos.


26 posted on 06/06/2008 11:41:17 AM PDT by ssaftler
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To: wafflehouse

> Rhodesia has been utterly dead for many years now

Alas ‘tis true, in the same sense that Burma is also dead. But I refuse ty buy into the new regime, and that includes accepting their name change.


27 posted on 06/06/2008 1:41:15 PM PDT by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghéill mi do dhuine. Fàg am bealach.)
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