As the prospect of election defeat looms for Mugabe, his men target their former comrade-in-arms
The threats against the life of Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai may have declined recently, partly due to world-wide warnings that he was in danger. But now another figure, less well known internationally, is looming large in the cross-hairs of Zimbabwe's experienced state assassins.
He is former Zanu-PF politburo member Dumiso Dabengwa, who left the party in February this year when it officially adopted Robert Mugabe as its presidential candidate. Dabengwa now allies himself closely with failed candidate Simba Makoni, who has declared his support for Tsvangirai in the run-off election on June 27.
The reason why the military junta now sustaining Mugabe in power wants Dabengwa dead is this: as former intelligence supremo with the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA), he still retains support amongst army officers and security personel, particularly those from the Matabeleland region.
Junta leaders forese the following scenario: in the event, widely anticipated, that Tsvangirai wins the run-off, they will mount a coup to save their lives and their fortunes. Dabengwa is one of the few men who could stop them.