This special rule makes no sense. If one has been in combat since 1970s, surely one should be eager to take a deserved rest. Recently, police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri collapsed during a pass-out parade for cadets, raising questions about his fitness to remain in the position. He even admitted to stuffing extra clothes under his uniform – only he knows why.
The Defence Forces Service Commission can spin this in any way they please but this is obviously designed to ensure the President rests easily at night. Mugabe is running out of people to trust. Traditionally, the armed forces receive astronomic wage increases but with government struggling to pay salaries, there have been rumours of discontent among the ranks. His comrades in Zanu (PF) are overtly wrangling to succeed him, even before he has stepped down.
It is therefore more imperative now for Mugabe to stick with the ageing Generals who have always backed him. The security chiefs, in apparent reference to Morgan Tsvangirai, openly declared they would never salute a leader without liberation war credentials. Mugabe’s paranoia is the reason he refuses to allow reform of the security sector.