Friday, 17 November 2017
Emmerson Mnangagwa Mnangagwa, 75, has been a close ally of Mugabe’s since 1974, when the two were leading members of the political wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union liberation movement. A veteran of the country’s war of independence from 1964 to 1979, when Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia, Mnangagwa is known by his "the crocodile". Mnangagwa narrowly escaped being hanged after being convicted by a Rhodesian court under the country’s terrorism act. The court gave him an 11th-hour reprieve after determining he was under 18. Over the past 37 years he’s headed both the intelligence and defence ministries, as well as the ministry of justice. Mnangagwa became vice president in 2014 – a short-lived appointment brought to an end by the enmity of Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who heads a faction of mainly younger Zanu-PF officials loosely known as Generation-40. Mnangagwa’s faction is known as Lacoste, named after the French clothing company’s crocodile logo. Constantine Chiwenga Chiwenga is the overall commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, or ZDF. Born in 1956, he joined the war for liberation in 1973, a year after it began in earnest. He rose through the ranks to become a brigadier when, after the war ended, the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army and the Rhodesian army merged into a single entity known as the ZDF. In 1994, he was promoted to lieutenant-general and in 2004 replaced General Vitalis Zvinavashe as the head of the ZDF. Beneath him, Lieutenant-General Philip Valerio Sibanda commands the army, and Air Marshal Perence Shiri the air force. Valerio Sibanda Sibanda fought with the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army during the liberation war before rising to command Zimbabwe’s land and special forces. Sibanda also commanded a combined international force of United Nations peacekeepers that oversaw the disarming of Angolan combatants after that country’s 30-year civil war ended in 2002. Unusually in Zimbabwe, Sibanda hasn’t previously been seen to be in an overtly political position. Perence Shiri Shiri, born in 1955, commanded Zimbabwe’s notorious Fifth Brigade, a special army unit trained by North Korean instructors that was deployed in Zimbabwe’s Midlands and Matabeleland provinces in the 1980s. The brigade carried out atrocities including torture and the extrajudicial execution of more than 3,000 people between 1982 and 1987, according to New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch. Shiri became commander of the air force in 1992. Grace Mugabe Robert Mugabe's second wife, who is more than 40 years his junior, has risen from presidential typist to the most powerful woman in Zimbabwe. They met and had their first two of three children while Mr Mugabe's first wife, Sally, was terminally ill with cancer, though they only married after her death. Her alleged appetite for extravagant shopping earned her the moniker Gucci Grace. While her supporters point to her charitable and philanthropic work and refer to her as "Dr Amai", meaning "mother", her critics accuse her of pursuing a ruthless campaign for wealth and power. Joice Mujuru who Mugabe fired in 2014 alleging that she was trying to topple him, is now the president of the National People’s Party. She also leads a grouping of opposition parties (People’s Rainbow Coalition) as its presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe his first public appearance since the military seized control of the country, attending a graduation ceremony at Harare's Open University on Friday morning. His the chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe and goes to the ceremony each year, we hope this will be his last visit before he resigns.
Wednesday, 15 November 2017
Zimbabwe's Major General SB Moyo, Chief of Staff Logistics, made the following speech on national television after the military seized it and blocked off access to government offices:
Thursday, 2 November 2017
JAH Prayzah’s bid to pay his last respects to his former aide, the late Crispen Nyemba, backfired when he was manhandled and stoned at Glen Forest Memorial Park yesterday. Nyemba died in a car accident along Samora Machel Avenue in the early hours of Sunday. The lanky musician, who was accompanied by his manager Keen Mushapaidze, had to run for dear life across the Glen Forest Memorial Park, with some irate mourners in hot pursuit.