Ex-CIO Boss Bonyongwe, Chihuri Were Planning Counter Operation Against Generals

According to the minutes of the meetings held between the Command Element of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) and former president Robert Mugabe, the generals were worried that Mugabe loyalists were planning a counter-operation against the military generals during the military intervention in November. The loyalists were being led by former Minister of Justice and former Director-General of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), Happyton Bonyongwe. Bonyongwe wanted to use Augustine Chihuri, former Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Republic Polic (ZRP) as well as the former Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, Air Marshal (Retired) Perrance Shiri.

In its petition to the African Union the New Patriotic Front Says,

On page 18, the bottom paragraph, the “Command Element” make a startling disclosure in their document that, the President “was informed about the mounting tension and concern within the Command Element triggered by a mobile communication message attributed to the new Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, and former Director General of the Central Intelligence Organisation, Rtd General Happyton Bonyongwe, to Air Marshal Perence Shiri who is in Dubai on official business allegedly urging him to fly back to join in efforts towards a counter-operation whose backbone would be the Police Force commanded by Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri”.

The “Command Element” also note in their document that “Commissioner General Chihuri had not attended the inaugural Wednesday morning meetings, or any thereafter. His Deputy, Deputy Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, had only attended the inaugural Wednesday morning meeting, after which he did not turn up for the rest”. The document reveals that the “Command Element”, “made it clear to the President that a counterforce against their operation would constitute an escalation which was bound to lead to a BLOODY outcome”.

The full minutes read:

Rumours of preparations for a counter-operation led by the Police and Rtd General Bonyongwe.

The President was informed about mounting tension and concern within the Command Element triggered by a mobile communication message attributed to the new Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, and former Director-General of the Central Intelligence Organisation, Rtd General Happyton Bonyongwe, to Air Marshal Parrence Shiri who is in Dubai on official business allegedly urging him to fly back to join in efforts towards a counter-operation whose backbone would be the Police Force commanded by Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri. It was drawn to the President’s attention that Commissioner Chihuri had not attended the inaugural Wednesday morning meetings, or any thereafter. His deputy, Deputy Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, had only attended the inaugural Wednesday morning meeting, after which he did not turn up for the rest.

Instances of friction between the Military and the Zimbabwe Republic Police were also drawn to th e President’ s attention culminating in what appeared to be a withdrawal of the Police Force from policing duties at least in the National Ca pital, Harare. The President was informed that the Command Element had made it clear that a counterforce against their operation would constitute an escalation which was bound to lead to a bloody outcome.

Chihuri has since been dismissed from the ZRP while Bonyongwe does not hold any government position.  Shiri is now the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement.

Download the full documents here submitted by the NPF here.

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