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Vol 37 No 1

Published 5th January 1996


Chimwenje or chimera?

A group of armed dissidents in the Manica region offer a helpful diversion to Harare

Reports that armed Zimbabwean dissidents are operating in Mozambique are being taken seriously by the authorities in Harare and Maputo. Both governments seems to lack reliable information about the group known as Chimwenje (torch) but the dissidents provide helpful diversions from other political problems. For some years, particularly when it thought Harare was getting too close to Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana, Maputo has used them to argue that a network of armed oppositionists, perhaps linked to Dhlakama, threatens both Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Similarly, the Zimbabwe government has tried to link the dissidents to veteran opposition leader Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole and is maximising political capital from Chimwenje.

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