Mujuru warns army generals

HARARE - Former Vice President Joice Mujuru has warned the country’s pro-Zanu PF securocrats to stop meddling in politics and civilian matters as that will lead to more chaos in the country.

This comes as yet another senior army official, this time the Commander of the Zimbabwe Presidential Guard, Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe, has been quoted threatening to unleash violence on Mujuru and her allies come the much-awaited 2018 national elections.

Analysts have also long observed that the country’s military establishment is a vital cog in President Robert Mugabe’s iron grip on power, amid widespread agreement that securocrats will have a major say in Zanu’s fractious succession politics, as the nonagenarian reaches the end of his long tenure in power.

Reacting to Sanyatwe’s reported utterances yesterday, the spokesperson of the People First movement, Rugare Gumbo, said army generals needed to remember that they would not remain “untouchable forever” and that one day they would be made to account for their actions.

“As People First, we are disturbed that it is now over a week since the publication of Brig Gen Sanyatwe’s startling and cantankerous remarks, yet there has been no public rebuke by either senior commanders of the defence forces, or the Defence Forces Services Commission.

“We were shocked to learn that such a senior officer in the army could publicly call for the annihilation of former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her supporters just because of their legitimate political activities in search of a lasting solution to the challenges facing the country.

“The statement ... blatantly contravenes Sections 208, 211 and 218 of the national constitution which define the security service including the defence forces.

“In terms of section 211, ‘the defence forces must respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons and be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional and subordinate to civilians as established in the constitution.

“We are surprised that our leader, Dr Mujuru, was a target of Brig Gen Sanyatwe’s reckless and unconstitutional threats when she has not made any statement that could be regarded as subversive or that could be construed as posing any threat to national security which Sanyatwe purports to be safe-guarding through his reported statement,” the livid Gumbo said.

The liberation struggle stalwart and former minister of Economic Development also noted that the army was paid by public funds and should thus swear its allegiance to Zimbabwe and not to the post-congress Zanu PF.

“It comes to us as a serious concern that the army is delving into succession politics in the country when, in our view, succession is decided by people during elections.

“What is now more worrying is the involvement of the army in partisan campaigns for one political party. We believe it is necessary that political parties of any persuasion should be allowed to exercise their legitimate right to be voted for by the people of Zimbabwe even if it results in the replacement of the incumbent president.

“Statements, such as those attributed to Brig Gen Sanyatwe, create animosity between the public, who are members of these political parties, and the army personnel, some of whom live among the same people or are, sometimes, tenants of the same.

“Such animosity is inimical to the pursuit of peace and prosperity in the country,” Gumbo added.

On the eve of the 2002 presidential elections, the country’s military top-brass, then fronted by the late Defence Forces Commander Vitalis Zvinavashe, issued a chilling and televised statement that pointedly warned citizens against voting for anyone other than Mugabe.

“Let it be known that the highest office in the land is a straight jacket whose occupant is expected to observe the objectives of the liberation struggle.

“We will therefore not accept, let alone support or salute anyone with a different agenda that threatens the very existence of our sovereignty, our country and our people,” Zvinavashe said then in his widely-condemned statement.

Gumbo said it was clear that Zimbabwe’s army was still to adapt to modern military modus operandi, with senior military officials seemingly unaware that one day they would be made to account for their actions.

“We also believe that some senior army officials do not fully comprehend what happens continentally and internationally, nor fully understand cases such as those of Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, or Lesotho nearer home, where the army sought to undermine civilian political interests with devastating political consequences.

“What our army personnel should awaken to is the fact that coup d’états or removal of leaders by force are no longer fashionable because the people would resist such unconstitutional moves and ensure they control and decide how, and who should govern them.

“We are also saddened to realise that some of these army commanders tend to forget they will retire, at some point, and that there is a future where they will lead civilian lives in which they are supposed to enjoy the same civil and political liberties that they are unconstitutionally undermining today,” Gumbo said.

Comments (32)

Can anyone recall any objection or concern from Mujuru, Gumbo or Mutasa when Vitalis Zvinavashe made those statements in 2002? The answer is not one peep from either one of the three. Why? Because they were still part of that govt recipients of that very Army's protection. So to cry foul now - now that they have been kicked out is a hard pill to swallow.

Themba W - 12 October 2015

Themba, it is right to benefit from hindsight, now that they are condemning it their voice should be respected, .

nelson - 12 October 2015

talk of convenience talk. they were laughing and commending the army when they were making threats to the opposition in years gone by. these guys are as guilty of complicit as are the army and rwavhi Mugabe himself. what is bad is bad. this woman joice used to have soldiers on the country's payroll guarding her personal mine at chiyadzwa and should stop pulling wool over our eyes. voting for this gamatox clique is bringing back zanu by another avenue as they are motivated more by keeping their loot rather by serving the people.

josphat mugadzaweta - 12 October 2015

Nelson, my critism of Mujuru is not an argument for the status quo or that Mugabe shld stay in power. Far from it. It is caution against some of these 're-bottled' politicians. As much as we all want Mugabe to go we shld be cautious of who we want to replace Mugabe. Mujuru has a record and unfortunately it's not a pretty one. She and her late husband were some of biggest beneficiaries of this corrupt govt. One only has to look at the many companies, land and business interess that Mujuru acquired during her tenure in govt - business interests and properties that she is still holding on to this day. The same goes for Mutasa and Gumbo. To be fair to them, Tsvangirai, whom the hope to unite with to unsit Mugabe is not an unsoiled politician either. This is also a guy who has nothing to show for the short stint he had in the GNU except for the govt mansion that he is refusing to vacate. So while we welcome the Mujurus and Gumbos to the cause, questioning their sincerity and newly found integrity is the most patriotic duty for all of us and does not mean we want things to remain the same. We shld all be cautious that those that we chose to lead us today are not using us to settle political scores and for personal aggrandizement.

Themba W - 12 October 2015

The question to these army thugs is that, is Mugabe or anybody in Zanu PF worth dying for? Their fear shall be fulfilled whether they like or not Zimbabwe is not ZANU PF peace of property. They talk to much about liberation do they even know and understand the meaning of the word. Foolishness is bliss to these thugs.

Christ In Me - 12 October 2015

Where is Vitalis zvinavashe now? Gone!! Takawana nyika ino iripo, tinongosiya iripo. Hapana muridzi wenyika, mugabe and his other fellow comrades will learn that soon.

misty - 12 October 2015

Gumbo must be a " Mafikizolo" in the democratic world to be shocked by Zanu pf system because, the majority people's shock arbsobers have been worn out long ago at the hands of zanu pf. GVT.

X-MAN IV - 12 October 2015

@Temba W. Unfortunately for our country Zimbabwe its full of people such as Nelson. In a big way this is the problem we have. Talking straight, this is why the country got destroyed in broad daylight with the few capable of wise judgement overwhelmed by the sheep in the class of Nelson. I personally have virtually lost hope for my country of birth. It takes a messiah from outer space to change such people as Nelson. Unfortunately to-date we do not know if there exist humans outside our own small galaxy who could save us.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 12 October 2015

It is very important to have people with both common sense and education leading the military. Morons have already proven too costly to our country. I beg them to serve their country by going away.

Jairos Zviripano - 12 October 2015

The military should know that long gone are the days when we were afraid of guns. if any one brings guns today we will take them and liberate ourselves, we can also do that with stones, it is only one day, the people are coming to regain theirs and the satyatwes will be on the run. Some people will run away from this country one day because a united people have more power than the gun. We need to liberate this country for the second time, from the hands of the greedy, who do not want to reliquish power in a democratic manner, these generals and police are being paupered with new vehicles time and again for them to suppress us and we are watching. Time to take action will come and is very very near.

bvonyongo - 13 October 2015

One would believe that statements of utter disregard of the constitution from the army threatening other political outfits for the benefit of the sick zanu pf are mentioned, Chiwenga wouldn't be expected to be so quiet. Maybe, he respects his past with Mujuru the late. Now that Mnangagwa is slowly being shown the door, someone will come to his senses soon.

Phillip Kucherera - 13 October 2015

sometimes you have to send a thief to catch a thief. Regai zvirovane. what we want at the end of the day is functional country with a reasonable economy. i would forgive people first and give them a fair chance of forming the next government than to trust mt with the leadership of the country. already mt is showing signs of dictatorship in his own party, purgings and refusing to give others a chances. this is what we should not tolerate going forward. imagine if he has the securocrats on his side. no one would ever be able to move him. 2018 people first.

zvirozviyedzwa - 13 October 2015

Let it be known that the highest office in the land is a straight jacket whose occupant is expected to observe the objectives of the liberation struggle. “We will therefore not accept, let alone support or salute anyone with a different agenda that threatens the very existence of our sovereignty, our country and our people,” Zvinavashe said then in his widely-condemned statement. Can you help me guys i find nothing wrong with the late Zvinavashe's statement. Can we read it well. Are saying Tsvangirai's existence was against this? if yes then definitely he was not right to not regard the liberation struggle that brought about Zimbabwe as asoverign state to allow him to contest the highest office. Honestly Zimbabwe was not without liberation struggle. With all due respect it must be respected. He (Tsvangirai) has discovered it now that he needs someone with a liberation respect in his camp hence the welcome of Mujuru despite all her nasty shortcomings so they say. I really support their coming together if ever a political change will come to Zimbabwe.

tichaona revai sithole - 13 October 2015

Mujuru has to play the part and make herself and her "People First" party look like real opposition intent on unseating President Mugabe. So you are likely to hear lots more of this kind of rhetoric leading up to the next round of rigged elections after which Mujuru will say something like this: "In the interest of peace and stability in this country we now extend our hand of friendship and join in the coalition with the ruling party ." If Mujuru and her comrades were real opposition they would have all been totally eliminated a long time ago in much the same way as Itai Dzamara, Rex Nhongo and Josiah Tongogara were dealt with. But somehow Mai Mujuru has escaped all this harassment and victimization? I beg everyone to please see through all this nonsense. Mujuru is a fraud and not anyone to be taken seriously.

Chidagwa - 13 October 2015

Dindingwe rinonakirwa richakweva vamwe,asi kana iron rokweiwarokweiwa unonzwa roti MAVARA angu ozara ivhu!!!!Mutasa unoziva mabasa ako awkaita uchiri Muridzi weZANU

masuka Fanuel - 13 October 2015

@tichaona revai sithole- The statement by Zvinavashe in 2002, was not only wrong but unlawful in the sense that it violeted two country's laws including the supreme one. The two laws do not require any person holding that General Command post to utter,issue such statement or sentiments. It is unproffessional and it brings the entrire ZNA into disrepute. Zvinavashe's ignorance of laws is not a defence, and I am sure that is why his own Zanu pf system tricked him into retirement as he possed danger even to them, by his lke to dwell into presidential stuff. Me and you we can say such statements with impunity. It is not a requirement to love,like or support Liberation struggle to be elegible as a presidential candidate. 5 years from now a born free can contest as a president candidate and that to me makes this liberation mantra a "myth". Liberation struggle was a noble idea. Respect must be earned and you can't demand it because it comes natural. Me thinks Mujuru is fraud too and cannot free this country twice. Why can't she unite with Ncube, Biti or Dabengwa.? Why Morgan? She is after that 73% stake.

X-MAN IV - 13 October 2015

@ kelly i totally agree with you. the daily news gives out opinions... they usually have top stories with very misleading headlines as well. Take this one for example, nowhere do they quote Mujuru herself nguGumbo okhulumayo but the headline says something different. please Daily News integrity should be one of the key values of your paper... sies maan

madawu - 13 October 2015

Sanyatwe must just shut up and go leaving this country for the nation. He is just a mere private security guard of the head of this corrupt government.

dhurun'aru - 13 October 2015

Cdes, it seems that the propaganda that Zim defence force is being taught during their recruitment is damn shit...sorry to say this. The curriculum for the defence forces needs a complete overhaul and a thorough review. In other states, the army is completely apolitical and abides by the leader of the day. But it seems the Zim army curriculum has some kind of doctrines which need polishing. We don't expect that in the army. Of course, we know that the reason why some of the over-excited army generals have been benefiting from our resources since independence and are the ones who are behing Gushungo cz they know that once we have a new government, they will tighten their belts instead of loosen them as of the current situation in Zim. Mugabe has invested in security hence all the bwarfing from his cronies in the army. Hence they killed Solo cz he was their threat in the system The system is as old as Uncle Bob because who supports this useless ideology in these days of common and better democracy not the Zim democracy which is outdated. Zim's economy and its democracy is living in the day of Napoleon or the era of Tsar and Bolsheviks and Menshviks......all because we have "Black Hitler in Zimbabwe" by the name Robert Mugabe. Taneta nekutongwa nekamudhara kakwegura isu nekuda kweArmy iri corrupt. Nonsense is nonsense mhani?

Clemence Tashaya - 13 October 2015

Now that these two sides face each other it's now interesting in the sense that they know each other very well. Formerly 2 sides of the same coin now separated due to one's short comings precisely Mugabe does not want to be challenged. Let us put our heads together and do away with him because he does not know what democracy means. Why does he become very angry whenever anyone shows an interest to rule Zimbabwe as if he owns the entire country? Did he acquire this country? No. So let us show him the way with the help of these Mujurus and Mutasaz who were purged for showing him that leadership must revolve amongst the members of a group not by declaration.

dokonda nyamakate - 13 October 2015

'Former Vice President Joice Mujuru has warned the country's pro-Zanu PF securocrats to stop meddling in politics and civilian matters as that will lead to more chaos in the country' - Too little too late, you should have nipped it in the bud when these so called generals started threatening to disregard the constitution. But you were in the gravy train and you approved of it back then because you thought it will never affect you. Democratic and progressive societies with militaries much more capable and with Officer Corps much more clever than Zimbabwe understand the importance of having these people with guns under the subject of a democratically elected civilian political leadership, its not rocket science.

Lt General - 13 October 2015

Why do you people lie about Mujuru this Mujuru that . Mujuru has never said all the things you say have been said by her . Rugare Gumbo , you are demonstrating your shallow thinking by referring to Mujuru as your leader or may be you mean former leader . Please leave Mujuru alone . If she wants to come back to active politics she will come and tell the nation in person . LEAVE MUJURU TO ENJOY HER PEACE AND PENSION .

Hayibo ! - 14 October 2015

Why do you people lie about Mujuru this Mujuru that . Mujuru has never said all the things you say have been said by her . Rugare Gumbo , you are demonstrating your shallow thinking by referring to Mujuru as your leader or may be you mean former leader . Please leave Mujuru alone . If she wants to come back to active politics she will come and tell the nation in person . LEAVE MUJURU TO ENJOY HER PEACE AND PENSION .

Hayibo ! - 14 October 2015

There was nothing wrong about what the late Gen Zvinavashe said .it was purely patriotic.any political party that looks to disregard the gains of our sovereignity is not worth anything as it would be a mercenary vehicle.Now this Brigadier Sanyatwe is a different issue

carson macate - 14 October 2015

Why all this complaining about the army meddling in politics? when they were part of mugabes team, they never uttered a word against these generals when they said the same to Tsvangson. Now when the shoe is on the other foot people's first want the army to be neutral.

jongwe rachembera - 15 October 2015

I remember in 1980 in January an aeroplane carrying Muzorewa throwing flyers.there was a picture of Mugabe with a chameleon body and the words "RWAVHI NGOZI MUGABE"under the picture.at that tym it didn't make sense to me,but now I know.

vilbram avril - 15 October 2015

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