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What if Mugabe’s son had been commander of elite presidential guard unit???

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African dictators rely on the security forces as their strategic power base.  While most of them out rightly preside over a military dictatorship, some of them more especially the educated pretend to run a civilian government with a semblance of rule of law while in the background they also run a parallel military government.  To ensure that the security forces do not push them out of power, some leaders place the military on top of the economic life of their respective countries in return for personal loyalty.

Some other leaders ensure that their close family members, in-laws, sons, and friends take charge of strategic top command positions in the security forces. Sometimes they ensure that those strategic top command positions are dominated by members of their ethnic/tribesmen.

In the case of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, the security forces are historically linked with the struggle for independence whose leader was Mugabe.  After he killed Gen. Tagongera, the overall commander of ZANU’s armed wing, ZANLA a week before the country attained independence in 1980, Mugabe emerged as the sole supreme leader of independent Zimbabwe.

Upon attaining independence, ZANU became the ruling party with  ZANLA becoming its military wing. Since then, Zimbabwe has been exclusively run by the clique of those who participated in the struggle for independence.  Whoever did not take part in that struggle has no space in the political and economic life of Zimbabwe.  That is how the military deliberately denied the opposition MDC its victory and chances have continued to get narrower.

What was witnessed last month was a resistance against Robert Mugabe to usher in a new generation of non independence war political players dubbed G40 (Generation 40).  That is why the army codenamed the plan to retire Mugabe “Operation Restore Legacy”.

Unlike his counterparts, Mugabe had developed so much confidence in the partisan security forces that he even forgot to build a personal army within the security forces.  When the army chief mobilized another 90+ top security chiefs for a press conference to declare their position on the political events in the country, there was no other force to counter them.

Even the moving of APCs and other troop carriers to strategic positions in the capital, Harare, was not necessary because they did not anticipate any form of resistance from anywhere.  The situation would have been different if Mugabe had created a more personal presidential guard unit commanded by his son, in-law, close relative abd dominated  extra loyal tribesmen.  Similarly a similar situation would have arisen if he had systematically positioned his close relatives and extra loyal tribesmen in strategic top command positions in the rest of the structures of the security forces.

Some gullible Ugandans rejoiced over events in Zimbabwe.  They built a false hope in the Zimbabwe scenario unfolding in Uganda. They forgot that Museveni has built an autonomous 10,000+ special unit (SFC) commanded by his son, relatives and extra loyal ethnic Hima  with the sole mandate of keeping him in power.  SFC is comprised of all the strategic units like VIPP protection, mechanized, artillery and Air Defense, CMI, Marines, FFU, Airforce and Military Police.  The rest of the regular army is just there as a scarecrow and reserved for income generating peace keeping missions and military expeditions in neighboring countries.  Museveni’s SFC is primarily mandated to vigorously resist (up to the fall of the last man) such Zimbabwe-like scenarios.

Therefore, if Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe had been as wise as his son, Uganda’s Museveni, his life presidency project would not have been disrupted.  As for those struggled against Museveni, unless you invoke the powers of ‘lightening’, you are just wasting your time and energy. By the time Mugabe was dislodged last month, Zimbabweans had given up on his hold on power.  They had gone through all those gimmicks of ‘structurally organising the opposition’ and ‘defiance’ up to the time they resorted to prayers for divine intervention.  Yes, Mugabe has left the stage but Mugabeism has been rejuvenated.  His birthday has now been declared a national holiday.  Over to you, country men and women.


We encourage you to share our stories but please give full credit to Change Of Guards Blog for Uganda.  We analyse politics and security for GLAR (Great Lakes Africa Region) and no one does it better than our team.  Plagiarism is Theft and a crime.

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One Comment to What if Mugabe’s son had been commander of elite presidential guard unit???

  1. Gonzalo Wies says:

    Welcome. Just wanted to share with you the best of Europes festivals over the past few months. We have visited most of these in the past and I can assure you that they are great fun. Find time to enjoy life and attend one of these this year. Looking forward to some more interesting posts on the Marina de Bolnuevo blog ( Have a great day.

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