Chinamasa comments damaging: Mahoso

HARARE - Patrick Chinamasa, the Justice and Legal Affairs minister has earned the ire of Zanu PF attack dogs after he made comments that they say opens Zimbabwe to a potential military invasion.

In an interview published last week, Chinamasa told the BBC that security organisations would only back political leaders who fought in the 1970s liberation war against white rule.

Tafataona Mahoso, a rabid Zanu PF spin doctor and chief executive of the Zimbabwe Media Commission, slammed Chinamasa’s comments as “damaging”.

The feud exposes escalating fears in Zanu PF that Nato may try to target the regime if it attempts to subvert the will of the people in the forthcoming crucial vote.

Mahoso, who was writing in his weekly newspaper column, said Chinamasa’s interview provided a perfect alibi for a military intervention.

Chinamasa’s statements echoed threats by some military generals that the army would not respect the election outcome if Mugabe lost.

Several military generals, including the army chief-of-staff, have declared that they will only support a leader who fought in the 1970s liberation struggle against white minority rule.

This would exclude 60-year-old Morgan Tsvangirai, who at the time of Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980 was a young leader of a textile workers’ trade union.

Said Mahoso: “That interview seems intended to assist the Pentagon, Nato, the EU, the Rhodesians and the MDC formations in their pursuit of “lawfare” against the next elections,” Mahoso stated.

“Minister Chinamasa avoided all the hot issues falling under his job and decided to speak for the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in order to create grounds for the imperialist and Rhodesian condemnation of the next elections long before they are held,” he said.

Mahoso alleged Chinamasa was being sinister against the Constitution and interests of Zimbabwe, and was bent on “tarnishing the ZDF and the next elections”.

“The purpose for BBC was to scandalise and demonise the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the liberation movement — so fundamentally that no matter how clean and convincing the entire population of Zimbabwe may want the next elections to be, these elections will have been framed permanently and in advance as fraudulent and inviting a foreign intervention as described in Operation Shumba,” Mahoso said, referring to an alleged US strategy in which he claimed Anglo-Saxon powers would employ the MDC formations and one part of a split Zanu PF in order to destroy the legitimacy of the African liberation movement in government led by Mugabe. - Gift Phiri

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