Former Zanu PF Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa has sensationally claimed that President Robert Mugabe does not trust securocrats that have always been seen as the power behind the nonagenarian leader’s 36-year rule.
Speaking from Brussels, where he met with several European Union representatives through a Media Origins-organised meeting, Mliswa took the opportunity to discuss the country’s State of economy and re-engagement efforts.
He said as it stands, the First Lady Grace wields so much power in terms of how the country is being run, but was not in favour of the security organs that include the war veterans.
Mliswa said the war veterans were very crucial in ensuring Zanu PF’s existence and campaigning for the party to remain in power.
“That is the defence, because the war veterans are an extension of the defence, so…Mugabe has no confidence in the security as he alluded to at the conference in Victoria Falls that he was no longer trusting them and that they must not interfere with the politics of Zanu PF.
We know very well that is something which you cannot do without…they are critical in advising him,” Mliswa said.
The outspoken businessman, who now leads a youth movement Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (Yard), met Geoffrey Van Orden, who is a member of the European Parliament for the East of England and a Conservative security and defence spokesperson.
He also met with Anna Fotyga, another European Parliament member and a chair of the subcommittee on security and defence.
Mliswa explained the importance of the security sector in Mugabe’s rule, adding that even though they serve at his pleasure, he is not at liberty to remove them at will. He said because of the lack of trust in the security sector, Mugabe would have loved to change the securocrats and replace them with people that his wife feels she is safe with.
“That’s how powerful he (Mugabe) is, but they (securocrats) have resisted and I think they are very clear in terms of defending themselves and say, ‘listen we put you where you are. The 2008 elections were rigged as a result of us getting involved, you were on your way out and you can’t just kick us out like that’,” Mliswa said.
He said that Zimbabwe must re-engage with Western nations and get back into the Commonwealth, since there are many benefits that come with being a member of that grouping.
Commonwealth is a voluntary association comprising several independent and sovereign nations, most of which are former British colonies.
“Zimbabwe has to come back to the Commonwealth. There are no two ways about it. You cannot talk about re-engagement when you are not able to go back to the Commonwealth again.
“The first point of call must be for Zimbabwe to get back to the Commonwealth…whether that will happen while Mugabe is in power, that’s a different thing altogether, but whoever is to assume leadership in the country must be very clear about re-engaging and being part of the Commonwealth in moving forward,” Mliswa said.
Mugabe pulled Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth in December 2003.
He said he did not accept the decision made at the Abuja summit, to maintain Zimbabwe’s suspension indefinitely.
The country had been suspended from the Commonwealth in 2002 after a presidential election widely seen as flawed.