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Mnangagwa in secret pact that could rope in Tsvangirai!

A June 13 report said Mugabe was in “extremely poor health” and had told his wife, Grace, that “his days on earth are fast becoming less and less”.

Reuters has not been able to determine the intended recipients of the documents or their exact origin within the CIO.

The intelligence agency officially reports to Mugabe but has splintered as opposition to his rule, which has lasted 37 years, has grown, according to two Zimbabwean intelligence agents interviewed by Reuters.

The CIO did not respond to requests for comment sent to it through Mugabe’s office.

The intelligence reports say that some of Mugabe’s army generals are starting to swallow their disdain for Tsvangirai, who, as a former union leader rather than liberation veteran, has never commanded the respect of the military.

The majority of senior military officers “are saying that it is better to clandestinely rally behind Tsvangirai for a change, and have secretly rubbed shoulders with Tsvangirai and cannot see anything wrong with him,” a report dated June 2 this year says.

A report dated June 13 this year says: “Top security force officials have been clandestinely meeting with Mnangagwa for the past few days to discuss Mugabe. They all agree that Mugabe is now a security threat due to his ill health.”

An army spokesman did not respond to written and telephone requests for comment.

When Mugabe took power after colonial rule ended in 1980, he inherited an economy flush with natural resources, modern commercial farms and a well-educated labor force.

Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere told him at the time: “You have inherited a jewel. Keep it that way.”

In his early years, Mugabe, a former Marxist guerrilla, won plaudits for improving healthcare and education, promoting economic growth and reconciling with Zimbabwe’s white minority, including farmers.

But in 1998 Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change emerged as a serious threat to ZANU-PF, and Mugabe changed tack.

The tipping point came in 2000 when Mugabe approved radical land reforms that encouraged veterans from the fight for liberation to occupy some 4 000 white-owned commercial farms.

At least 12 farmers were murdered.

Most fled with their title deeds to countries such as South Africa, Britain or Australia.

A few remained in Zimbabwe, where they became active in opposition politics.

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