Mugabe mobilises for civil war
Military manoeuvres indicate that Zanu-PF is preparing for conflict
With the power-sharing talks between Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change now stalled and showing no signs of progress, Robert Mugabe has moved swiftly to prepare for an armed struggle within Zimbabwe.
A highly-ranked Army commander told me today, Monday: "Civil war is now definitely in prospect. Our officers currently undergoing training in South Africa have been immediatly recalled in mid-course, for what were described as more important military duties.
"I'm also aware that regiments from Imbizo, Mbalabala and Carbone barracks have been placed on high alert. And their training has been re-focused to include much more direct action on the ground."
Another sign of imminent action by Zanu-PF is the size of the military presence on our city streets. Much bigger patrols have been noticed this week in Harare, Bulawayo and other cities, especially towards nightfall.
Meanwhile, as SADC, the grouping of nations in the region, continue to insist that the two parties must reach an agreement through negotiation, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has called for new elections, to be supervised by the international community.
Speaking at a rally this weekend to mark the ninth anniversary of the creation of the MDC, he said the talks had deadlocked over Mugabe's insistence on retaining control over the country's security forces.
And he pointed out that it is these security forces - the police, the army, the militias etc - which Mugabe has always used to brutalise and terrify the people of Zimbabwe.
Many observers now believe that he will use the same forces if and when social order here finally breaks down, and he decides on the violent elimination of the opposition once and for all.