'Army should not interfere in politics'

HARARE - Reacting to statements attributed to defence forces commander, Constantino Chiwenga, analysts yesterday said the army should not interfere in politics.

Chiwenga was quoted in the State media  saying the army has a role to play in Zanu PF succession politics, but analysts said the army boss was out of order.

Respected political analyst Eldred Masunungure said the army must stay in the barracks and stop interfering in politics.

“The army must stay in the barracks they do not have a role to play in the politics of the country. It is an inappropriate statement or opinion by the head of the army who must not interfere in political affairs even if there is a threat they must be dealt with by the relevant authority which is the police. The army must come in if the police are overwhelmed by the situation but we are still far from that scenario.

“It is well defined in the Constitution that the army should not interfere in politics. It is wrong, the statement tends to threaten protestors.”

But Chiwenga said that the army is mandated by the Constitution to have a say in the country’s politics.

“That is what our Constitution says. Everyone contributed to writing the Constitution and it says we (the ZDF) shall uphold the Constitution,” said Chiwenga.

But the analysts said the Zanu PF succession wars which recently saw Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa being shredded into pieces by Manicaland province State minister Mandi Chimene have nothing to do with the country’s security.

Chimene is believed to be a member of the Generation 40(G40) faction that is opposed to Mnangagwa’s bid to succeed 92-year-old Mugabe. The G40 camp is packed with young Turks  who oppose Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to power.

Oxford-trained political thinker Phillan Zamchiya said Chiwenga showed that the military will have a say in the transition of Zimbabwe.

“What is in the mind of the general is that as goes the military so goes the transition. The commander is reinforcing the war veterans association’s locus that they will not give carte blanche to the mantra that they are welfarists in an apical succession battle. In that vein, it is a message of contumacy targeted at Mugabe’s wailing reiteration that politics leads the gun.

“On the other hand, this is an epistle aimed at the laptop-driven G40 that the gun will prevail over the laptop. The general is so serious that recently he officialised his Chimurenga names to send a similar message. The barrage on Rambo style war veterans in the interview is a side-show meant to lull the simpletons. After all who is not acting Rambo? The military will not go to the barracks because they are a military wing of Zapu and Zanu PF which is dangerous for modern day democracy,” said Zamchiya.

Comments (1)

Now the army belongs to the barracks when everybody new that Zanu PF was manipulating the army all the time they wanted to squash opposition..... ngachiputike chimbambaira chiri mupoto.... gore rino dzinorira chete kwete kuDande asi kuState House.

Dakarai - 9 August 2016

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