Army comments trigger concern

HARARE - The unusual statement by the army this week that the government should deal more decisively with corruption, by aggressively pursuing public officials implicated in graft, has fuelled fears that Zanu PF’s succession wars have become even more intractable — and that service chiefs are now heavily at the heart of the ugly ructions.

Analysts who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said the controversial remarks by Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba were a clear sign that the military was now a major player in Zanu PF’s seemingly unstoppable factional and succession brawls that are having a dire impact on both the party and the country.

This comes as senior military bigwigs, including Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, Constantino Chiwenga, are said to be supportive of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mooted presidential aspirations — a claim the top securocrats deny.

“The public statements by senior military officials that the levels of corruption are now a security threat are not the first time that they have inappropriately interfered in civilian affairs.

“For several years, the military has interfered in Zimbabwe’s political and electoral affairs including the 2008 presidential run-off election where the army played a major role in supporting political violence. The fact is the military has no business commenting on civilian issues,” human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga said.

“It is unconstitutional for the military to involve itself in factional politics. But also shows clearly that the military factor is on the side of Mnangagwa and against the G40 in the party’s succession politics, and the military factor may be the decisive one in the end.

“Using anti-corruption as a disguise to fight factionalism in Zanu PF will ultimately undermine the real fight against corruption which is a major challenge for Zimbabwe today.

“State institutions, including the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and the military should be non-partisan and should deliver their constitutional duties without fear or favour.

“They should not act or speak on behalf of factions, but only on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe,” Mavhinga added.

On its part, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC said the military’s “alleged concern” about rampant corruption in the country “should be taken with a very big chunk of salt”.

“Firstly, I must say the MDC has no business getting itself involved in the politics of Zanu PF’s terrible factionalism. That said, it is clear that the G40 faction is being battered left, right and centre, and are like a dead man walking.

“However, the military’s concern about corruption is not sincere. You will remember that top dogs within the military have been linked to massive looting of diamonds in the Chiadzwa and Marange diamond fields and we never heard the military publicly dissociating itself from these serious allegations,” spokesperson Obert Gutu told the Daily News.

Former civic leader McDonald Lewanika also said while the military may have expressed sentiments that resonated with ordinary Zimbabweans, they had no business “dabbling in civil affairs”.

“Corruption has now become the new proxy war, which ironically (Higher Education minister) Jonathan Moyo himself, who is at the centre of some of the current scandals, tried to use to deal with opponents to his faction in Zanu PF two years ago.

“While the military can venture opinions on key national issues, we need to be wary of celebrating their interventions when it mimics our calls as the military has no place in civilian affairs,” he said.

The concerns come as Moyo and his politburo colleague, Saviour Kasukuwere, have been fingered in corruption storms by Zacc and Parliament respectively, with Zanu PF insiders saying both men are G40 kingpins, a party faction which is rabidly opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding President Robert Mugabe.

Giving oral evidence before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Defence and Security on Monday, Nyikayaramba said corruption had become a security threat in the country and thus needed to be dealt with decisively.

And on Tuesday, another committee recommended the arrest of Kasukuwere over alleged criminal abuse of office during his tenure at the Indigenisation ministry, where he stands accused of misrepresenting facts on $10 million meant for communities in the rich diamond mining area of Marange.

“With the findings... revealing clear deception bordering on criminal abuse of office, the committee calls upon the Zimbabwe Republic Police... and all relevant authorities to institute formal proceedings... to investigate the conduct of... Kasukuwere, officials from the ministry of Youth... National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board as well as the diamond mining companies in relation to the MZCSOT (Marange Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust ),” said Justice Mayor Wadyajena of the Youth and Indigenisation committee.

“The committee further recommends... Mugabe to establish a commission of inquiry... to investigate the intricate web of deceit, corruption and fraud related to the establishment... of the MZCSOT,” he said.

“Further, that particular attention must be paid to a likely covert strategy meant to discredit and malign the office of the president,” Wadyajena said.

Comments (12)

very laughable from a man who once served corruptly on a civilian board,zec,whilst still enlisted in the the army,what is becoming obvious is that team lacoste doesnt understand what corruption is and the only way its members can evade arrest for genocide is to capture state power,the people of zimbabwe are not fools and will never be ruled by a zambian even if he adopts a shona name ,gives himself a shona totem,and builds a homestead in the midlands

truth - 27 October 2016

What these top millitary brass do not know is that things have changed. it is going to be very nice to see he big guys going to Prison. Mr Army Boss you must know one thing. Impunity will not last forever and when the wheel turns its going to be fun for some of us who have been crying for the past 36 years

rovai - 27 October 2016

Our dilemma as a country is the unending succession politics even a rapist like Gumbura and Kereke can always hide behind factionalism . A crime should be treated for what is regardless of where one belongs. There should be fair application of the law to all and sundry .We cannot continue on this trajectory as a country and expect to recover economically.

Aluta Continua - 27 October 2016

When you see military man shouting their voices hoarse, they are protecting their loot. If you had Zimbos at heart, you would not have unleashed the 2008 horrors or involved in the genocides of the 80's. Fortunately Zimbos are smart enough to see the behind this charade. History is littered with bitter lessons we need to learn very quickly of wolves in sheep clothing, of psychopathic leaders who are prepared to go to hell with all humanity in pursuit of power at all costs. They are drunk with power and their faculties of reasoning and decorum have deserted them.

Madhunamutuna - 27 October 2016

Brig Nyikayaramba was summoned to parly.He did not just go there.He was called by the commete of parly.And yes the securico cant just watch thieves emptying governme t coffers and not act .Jomic is made up of police and army.Their job is to maintain peece n security.Graft has brot down governments ,leaving the poor suffering.Jomic plse lock them up, criminals of sticky fingures.

viola gwena - 27 October 2016

@Viola , wena mdidi why are u always supporting factional politics. The law must be applied universally without favour . Just because guys on the G 40 are found wanting they must be arrested ? What about the looting of diamonds and the butchering of Ndebeles by Mnangagwa and these dirty service chiefs. Msathanyoko wena hule lothuvi. This time u won't succeed , we shall fight fire with fire . Beche rako mdidi wemhunu.

Mdidi - 28 October 2016

All of you ZANU PF thugs are equally guilty of theft, corruption, killing and then hiding behind your high office shields. You have also stolen not just one but two elections thereby forcibly denying millions of us our choice? We therefore plead with our SADC neighbours, the AU and UN plus all the Churches and Human Rights groups to realize the reasons behind our continued suffering and take measures to put an immediate stop to this abuse. Please, we beg you to listen to our voices of desperation.

Mbewa - 28 October 2016

Major General Nyikayaramba is clearly offside but he has never been known to shy away from political issues as well as his avowed and total allegiance to the party. The irony is that Mugabe was on record recently admonishing the soldiers to keep their egos leashed and desist from dabbling in political issues which fall well outside their constitutional purview. Furthermore, the good general is also a key player in the endemic and deeply embedded corruption which afflicts most if not all senior party and government officials today. This is yet another installment in the ZANU PF factional war which should climax at the forthcoming congress in December. The assault bears similar hallmarks to the dismantling of Joyce Mujuru just before she was humiliated and hounded out of ZANU as she appeared to be heading for the finish line. Lacoste appears on course to prevail once more over G40 this time around but a dangerous precedent has already been set as the flames of self destruction and ultimate implosion continue to consume ZANU PF. Come December, one of the factions has to bite dust and pave the way for the succession of Mugabe by the other. Just watch this space.

Jaikolu Maison - 28 October 2016

Until this current lot is gone we have to brace oursdelves for a long and dry winter in politics. It will take a courageuos move like what happened in Ghana when Jerry Rawlings took over and cleared the whole lot to start afresh. Cry my beloved country.

Madekufamba - 28 October 2016

Until this current lot is gone we have to brace oursdelves for a long and dry winter in politics. It will take a courageuos move like what happened in Ghana when Jerry Rawlings took over and cleared the whole lot to start afresh. Cry my beloved country.

Madekufamba - 28 October 2016

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unchuabriol - 31 October 2016

Mbavha dzinosungwa varume. Ve People First vakambosungwa wani, Jonso ngausungwe kwotevera Tyson. Ndiyani anoziva kuti pamwe vana Lacoste vachazosungwawo ne nguva yacho- 2 wrongs do not make a right. Inga Jonso aifara wani vana Cashbert vachiona Fires

Cde Muchanya - 3 November 2016

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