Zimbabwe’s intelligence boss Happyton Bonyongwe is reported to have advised President Robert Mugabe to rein in his wife Grace because her campaign may stoke political violence and is likely to be opposed by the military.
According to a report by Action for Southern Africa, Bonyongwe argued instead that the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front must mend relations with war veterans.
War veterans told Mugabe last year that they only saluted him and him alone and said there should be no slogans honouring anyone else.
This was after a slogan saying “kusina Mai hakuindwe”-No one should go where the mother is not- became the rallying call for G40 wherever the First Lady addressed rallies.
Bonyongwe is also said to have told the Joint Operations Command that serving troops “strongly oppose” G40, a faction said to be loyal to the First Lady.
Mugabe’s former deputy Joice Mujuru who now leads the National People’s Party says Mugabe is the real leader of G40.
The report says the move clearly shows that senior military and intelligence officers prefer Vice-President Mnangagwa.
“Control of the military and the security apparatus is a key factor in deciding who holds the reins politically,” it quotes Showers Mawowa, deputy director of the Southern African Liaison Office as saying.
“As things stand, it seems like Mnangagwa has the upper hand.”