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Analyst Says Zimbabwean Police Real Power Behind Mugabe

A South African analyst says he believes Zimbabwean police are the real power behind Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe. Among those watching the latest developments in Zimbabwe is Herman Hanekom, current affairs specialist at the Africa Institute of South Africa.

From Cape Town, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about Wednesday’s government crackdown.

“I find it highly interesting especially in view of the light that Robert Mugabe is now in Dar es Salaam for a SADC (Southern African Development Community) meeting, which was called for by the Safety and Security Committee to discuss Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. To me this is actually proof of a suspicion that I’ve had for a considerable time that Zimbabwe is in fact governed by the Zimbabwean police on behalf of Mugabe and that they enjoy his full protection for the inhuman actions that they take against the population,” he says.

Hanekom adds, “I personally believe that they fear if Mugabe goes, their past sins will be exposed and they might appear in court.” The analyst describes the move as a “power play to stay there untouchable as long as possible.”

Hanekom does think Mr. Mugabe’s days in power “are numbered.” He says,” With the leaks coming from the ZANU-PF (ruling party) and the opposition to him running again for president, extending his term, that have come to the fore, I would say that if the Politburo meets they will be strong enough to boot Mugabe out. But on the other hand, Mugabe will be strong enough to do a constitutional coup d’etat with the police force behind him. I’m not quite sure about the army, I have my doubts; but with the police behind him to recounter (counter-attack) and do a presidential coup against the rebels.”