Tsvangirai quashes coup threats

HARARE - Zanu PF leaders who contradict President Robert Mugabe’s peace calls are a threat to national security, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said yesterday.

Tsvangirai was addressing thousands of Chinhoyi residents who had gathered for a peace prayer.

He lashed out at security chiefs who he claimed are threatening to stage a coup in the event that someone other than Mugabe wins elections slated for later this year.

“As spokesperson of the coalition government principals, the message I have brought for you is one of peace,” Tsvangirai said.

“Register to vote and vote in peace. However, I must say we are disappointed that at a time when the president is calling for a peaceful election, some misguided elements among us are still stuck in the past.”

Tsvangirai addressed the peace rally two days after Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu told thousands at Independence Day celebrations held at the National Sports Stadium that “No pencil shall take away the country brought up by a gun”.

“At times violence becomes a culture, a value system that is strengthened by impunity,” Tsvangirai said yesterday.

“As Zimbabweans we are drawing a line in the sand that never again shall we fight each other for political expediency.

“Some say we will stage a coup if so and so wins. This is not in the spirit of peace.”

Quoting the Bible from the book of Psalms 33 verse 16 that says “No King shall be saved by the size of his army.”

Tsvangirai said: “Hedging your political fortunes on the army is no good. Rather put your faith in the Lord,” he said to rapturous applause.

Tsvangirai is insisting on security sector reforms before watershed elections, a demand that has been consistently spurned by Mugabe and his senior officials.

Zimbabwe’s increasingly partisan and belligerent military chiefs over the years have insisted they will not salute anyone without liberation war credentials, statements analysts say are aimed at Tsvangirai.

MDC organising secretary and Information Communication Technology (ICT) minister Nelson Chamisa said a peaceful poll will bring out the best in Zimbabweans.

“In peace, people will have the liberty to express themselves,” Chamisa said. “We will have jobs, good healthcare and stable families. Competition is friendship and no one should behave like a wall nail when they are defeated.”

As if on cue, Chamisa like his boss, looked to the Bible for guidance. He quoted Joel 2 verse 25 when the prophet was giving comforting words to the Israelites.

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten — the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you.”

“This is the MDC’s promise to Zimbabweans. We want peace and all shall be well with us,” Chamisa said
Chinhoyi Zanu PF aspiring parliamentarian Philip Chiyangwa stunned the crowd when he begged Tsvangirai to fix the country.

“If there is hunger, joblessness and no medicines like the situation we have at the moment, it is difficult to have peace,” Chiyangwa said.

“I am appealing to the prime minister as head of government to help us fix things. Whatever happens we must make sure our people have something to do.

“Oftentimes, when people have nothing to do or have nothing in their hands they resort to vices like violence,” the flamboyant businessman said.

Chiyangwa took a respectful bow before Tsvangirai, then he walked away.

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