Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has made forced cross-cutting changes to his Presidential Guard (PG) Brigade several months after his wife Auxillia clashed with one of the most senior officers in the unit.
The abrupt changes reflect Mnangagwa’s continued coup-proofing strategy and search for stability in the military forces which brought him to power through a coup in November 2017.
The PG is a force trained to fight in built-up areas such as cities and towns and is part of Mnangagwa’s forceful presidential motorcade. Its main role is to provide protection to the President and his deputies and securing Harare district.
Most analysts in Zimbabwe view the latest changes as a coup-proofing strategy as Mnangagwa seeks to consolidate his grip on power.
In November 2017, the unit played a major role during the coup codenamed ‘Operation Restore Legacy.’
On August 2018, it crushed election-related protests in central Harare, killing 6 civilians and injuring dozens.