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AFRICA: Behind Museveni’s closeness to Zimbabwe’s Munangagwa

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CHANGE OF GUARDS – Contrary to the established tradition, other than Zimbabwe’s Munangagwa, not even a single Head of State from any of Museveni’s most cherished East African Community (EAC) graced his 57th Independence Anniversary on October 9, 2019.  Munangagwa came to power in 2017 following a bloodless military coup that ended the reign of Robert Mugabe. As one of Africa’s most brutal dictators, Mugabe had become such a nuisance that most autocratic African Heads of State hypocritically looked the other way over the coup d’etat. On the contrary, these autocrats would have issued a barrage of condemnation and even intervened militarily to reverse the military takeover. No doubt, if Mugabe was still alive, many would continue to shun his successor, Munangagwa.

The choice of Munangagwa to grace Museveni’s recently concluded Independence Anniversary was motivated by the following two considerations:

1. Museveni wanted to use the opportunity to attack the West over sanctions on Zimbabwe and his own Gen. Kalekyezi. In his speech, he said:
“A small man cannot negotiate with a big man. When the USA put sanctions on China, China responded appropriately. When you strike me, I also strike you. When you have a situation where someone strikes you and you can’t strike back, its a disaster.  You see how China has been fighting with Trump……”

Museveni must have used the occasion to entice Munangagwa with the offer of pleading for him China’s economic aid. Obviously, the deposed Mugabe had been in good books with China thus it has not been easy for Munangagwa to make inroads into the latter’s good books.

2. With a formidable Air force, Zimbabwe played a key role in the 2nd Congo War by siding with Kinshasha to halt Uganda and Rwanda’s advance. The geopolitical situation has changed and Rwanda has fallen out with Museveni. With Kinshasha seemingly siding with Kigali coupled by ever increasing war drums between former allies (Kampala and Kigali), Museveni must be contemplating tapping into Zimbabwe’s string partisan army at the 11th hour.  Museveni is not sure of the East African partner states’ military aid in case of need. Since Zimbabwe faces no regional cross border threat, it can afford to dispatch its military to the aid of Museveni at short notice.


—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: October 20, 2019 at 12:55AM

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