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Security breaches since Zimbabwean President has been in power



Zimbabwe President

Since coming to power through military assistance in November 2017‚ Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has sought to do things differently compared to his predecessor‚ Robert Mugabe‚ but that almost cost his life on Saturday.

The Zimbabwe president survived an assassination plot by sheer luck when a grenade thrown in his direction exploded in what he later called a “cowardly act”. It missed him but injured 41 people‚ including one of his vice presidents‚ Kembo Mohadi.

Unlike Mugabe‚ Mnangagwa has a smaller team of security personnel around him. When going to work his Mercedes Benz ML is flanked by no more than five cars and two out-rider bikers. This is a major climb-down from Mugabe who had at least 15 vehicles and as many as four bikers flanking him.

Whenever Mugabe hit town‚ sirens would be heard and all traffic in the area stopped in what came to be known as “Bob and the Wailers”.

Even the late former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela poked fun at Mugabe’s entourage. But Mugabe understood the terrain he operated in‚ having survived a few assassination plots himself.

The relaxed atmosphere around Mnangagwa going as far back as December 2017 could have provided a window of opportunity.

On December 6 one Guthrie Chiredzero‚ 40‚ was nabbed by alert security agents controlling the movement of traffic going to King George VI where the president was set to rename the army barracks Josiah Magama Tongogara Barracks. The garrison was the army’s command centre when it orchestrated the ouster of Mugabe a few weeks before.

It was Chiredzero’s second attempt at getting close to the president. Two days earlier he had sneaked into State House during the inauguration of cabinet ministers. He masqueraded as a state security agent and was spotted near the podium controlling human traffic.

It was later established that he had produced a fake Central Intelligence Organisation [CIO] identity card at the security checkpoint to gain entry to State House. He had positioned himself near to where the president was due to sit.

Earlier this month at a rally in Gweru Moses Mavusa‚ a losing candidate in Zanu PF’s primary elections went on stage and tried to grab the president’s hand while he called a friend to take a picture of them.

He was‚, however,  whisked away and some of the president’s security details were allegedly brought to task over the security breach.
Last week Mnangagwa stopped by a popular food outlet in the Midlands town of Chegutu and went into a queue like ordinary civilians to buy food. He ordered food worth $3.75 with a $20 note and told the cashier to keep the change.

There is no history of Mugabe doing anything close to that. Having been a senior cabinet minister in Mugabe’s government‚ Mnangagwa has always had the pleasure of a security detail at his disposal but he gained a reputation of being a lone ranger‚ from time to time even driving his own car alone.

In 2014‚ then Justice and Legal Affairs minister‚ the Zimbabwe president was involved in a car accident while driving a modest Mercedes Benz E Class. It was reported that he was on his way home.

Source: Timeslive

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Kembo Mohadi resigns amid sex scandal



Kembo Mohadi sex scandal

Zimbabwe Vice President Kembo Mohadi resigned on Monday following local media reports he had engaged in improper conduct.

Kembo Mohadi, along with Constantino Chiwenga, was a deputy to President Emmerson Mnangagwa since 2018, but without a political power base, he was not seen as a potential successor to the president.

In a rare move by a public official in Zimbabwe, Kembo Mohadi said he had taken the decision to step down “not as a matter of cowardice but as a sign of demonstrating great respect to the office of the President”.

I have been going through a soul-searching pilgrimage and realised that I need the space to deal with my problem outside the governance chair,” he said in a statement released by the Ministry of Information.

Local online media service ZimLive has in the past two weeks carried reports that Kembo Mohadi had improper sexual liaisons with married women, including one of his subordinates.

Mohadi, 70, denied the accusations last week saying this was part of a political plot against him. On Monday he continued to deny the accusations saying he would seek legal recourse.

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Zimbabwe agrees to pay $3.5 billion compensation to white farmers



Zimbabwe White Farmers

Zimbabwe agreed on Wednesday to pay $3.5 billion in compensation to Zimbabwe white farmers whose land was expropriated by the government to resettle black families, moving a step closer to resolving one the most divisive policies of the Robert Mugabe era.

But the southern African nation does not have the money and will issue long term bonds and jointly approach international donors with the farmers to raise funding, according to the compensation agreement.

Two decades ago Mugabe’s government carried out at times violent evictions of 4,500 Zimbabwe white farmers and redistributed the land to around 300,000 Black families, arguing it was redressing colonial land imbalances.

The agreement signed at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State House offices in Harare showed white farmers would be compensated for infrastructure on the farms and not the land itself, as per the national constitution.

Details of how much money each farmer, or their descendants, given the time elapsed since the farms were seized, was likely to get were not yet clear, but the government has said it would prioritise the elderly when making the settlements.

Farmers would receive 50% of the compensation after a year and the balance within five years. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and acting Agriculture Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri signed on behalf of the government, while farmers unions and a foreign consortium that undertook valuations also penned the agreement.

“As Zimbabweans, we have chosen to resolve this long-outstanding issue,” said Andrew Pascoe, head of the Commercial Farmers Union representing  Zimbabwe white farmers.

The land seizures were one of Mugabe’s signature policies that soured ties with the West. Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup in 2017 and died last year, accused the West of imposing sanctions on his government as punishment.

The programme still divides public opinion in Zimbabwe as opponents see it as a partisan process that left the country struggling to feed itself. But its supporters say it has empowered landless Black people. Mnangagwa said the land reform could not be reversed but paying of compensation was key to mending ties with the West. Reuters

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Chinamasa calls U.S. ambassador ‘thug’ as anti-government protests loom




Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party on Monday called the United States ambassador a “thug” and accused him of funding the opposition ahead of this week’s planned anti-government protests that authorities say are meant to overthrow the government.

Without providing evidence, ZANU-PF spokesman Patrick Chinamasa told reporters that U.S. ambassador to Harare, Brian Nichols, was involved in subversive activities to topple President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

Chinamasa’s comments echo the Robert Mugabe era, where the ZANU-PF government regularly accused the United States and Britain of seeking to dislodge it from power.

“He (Nichols) continues to engage in acts of undermining this republic and if he does so, if he continues engaging in acts of mobilising and funding disturbances, coordinating violence and training insurgents, our leadership will not hesitate to give him marching orders,” Chinamasa said.
“Diplomats should not behave like thugs, and Brian Nichols is a thug.”

The U.S. embassy in Harare did not immediately respond to Chinamasa’s comments. Political tensions are rising fast in the southern African nation after activists called for demonstrations on July 31 against government corruption, which they blame for deepening the worst economic crisis in more than a decade.

Last month, the government summoned Nichols after a senior White House official said Zimbabwe was among “foreign adversaries” using the civil unrest in the United States following the death of George Floyd to interfere in U.S. affairs.

The U.S., Britain, E.U. embassies and the United Nations have all criticised Zimbabwe for the arrest of journalists and political challengers.
Relations between Zimbabwe and the West were promising when Mnangagwa replaced Mugabe after a coup in 2017, but have soured over the government’s human rights record.

Patrick Chinamasa urged party supporters to defend themselves from protesters and avoid a repeat of the deadly violence that followed post-election demonstrations in August 2018 and the January 2019 protests over a steep fuel price hike.“No, this time no. Use any means at your disposal to defend yourselves,” Chinamasa said. Organisers say this week’s protests will be peaceful. Reuters

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