Sellouts, whites won't rule Zim: Chiwenga

HARARE - Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) general Constantino Chiwenga has declared ahead of next year’s synchronised polls that the military will not allow whites and disloyal citizens to ascend to the seat of power.

Chiwenga was quoted by a Masvingo provincial newspaper saying “we will never allow sell-outs or whites to take over this country”.

The ZDF boss was speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for a hospital to be built in Sengwe, Chiredzi South.

He said many lives were lost during the liberation struggle, hence it should give “us more resolve on where we are coming from and where we are going as a country.

“We are facing many challenges as a people but we should not lose focus. The blood lost should not be in vain. We should continue to jealously guard our country and its sovereignty.

“We will never allow it to go into the hands of puppets or the whites,” he was quoted saying.

The function was attended by several army officers, including army chief of staff, major general Trust Mugoba who chanted Zanu PF slogans at the end of the proceedings.

Also in attendance were chief Sengwe; Member of Parliament for Chiredzi South retired brigadier Kallisto Gwanetsa and Chiredzi district administrator Lovemore Chisema, among others.

Chiwenga’s recent comments seem to contradict President Robert Mugabe who, in July warned the army to stay out of politics and remain in the barracks.

By publicly dabbling in politics, the military is in contravention of Sections 208, 211 and 218 of the country’s Constitution, which governs how the security services, including the ZDF, should operate.

In terms of the charter, the Defence Forces are expected to be non-partisan and professional in the discharge of their duties.

Section 211 (3) of the Constitution reads: “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 civilian authority as established by this Constitution.”

Section 208 (2) of the charter says: “Neither the security services nor any of their members may in the exercise of their functions act in a partisan manner, further their interests of any political party or cause, prejudice the lawful interests of any political party and that serving members of the security services must not be active members or office bearers of any political party or organisation.”

This is not the first time, especially ahead of elections, that generals have threatened that the country will never be taken over by someone who didn’t go to war.

In 2002, the country’s generals held a press conference on the eve of the presidential election to make veiled coup threats if MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the polls.

The MDC, Zimbabwe’s largest opposition, reacted angrily to Chiwenga’s remarks, yesterday.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said the army should not meddle in the politics of the country.

He said, constitutionally, the army’s mandate is to defend Zimbabwe’s territorial integrity as well as preserving national security.

“More often than not, Chiwenga openly dabbles in politics, something which is really regrettable,” said Gutu.

“As the MDC, we call upon Chiwenga to immediately retire from the army and join the hustle and bustle of politics. He seems to enjoy politics, anyway.”

Political analysts said the rightful role of soldiers in a constitutional democracy is to defend the country and not to politically define it.

Vivid Gwede, an analyst, said the role of defining the future of a country should be left to politicians, provided they are chosen through democratic elections.

“The role of professional soldiers is to defend the Constitution and democratic elections and respect their outcomes rather than speak at cross-purposes with them. Is it not unethical for one to use a position to ends which it is not meant for?” he asked.

Political commentator Maxwell Saungweme said Chiwenga’s declaration was not new at all as Mugabe founded conditions for the military to be ensnared in politics.

“He militarised civil institutions such as parastatals and independent commissions. The military in Zimbabwe is known to be kingmakers in Zanu PF. Nothing is new here.

“On this one, like many other issues, Mugabe speaks left and acts right. But it’s bad for politics that the military gets involved.

“Unfortunately, in Zimbabwe this started before April 18, 1980, and it’s only a new regime without elements of Zanu PF political genealogy in it that will be able to confine the military to the barracks not political playfield,” said Saungweme.

He added that Mugabe can’t unbundle this as he fashioned it and the military is now so ensconced in our politics.

“This is why they think they can determine who should lead the country. It’s a clear conflation of roles, Mugabe is responsible for it,” opined Saungweme.

Social commentator Rejoice Ngwenya believes Chiwenga, like most so-called militant Zanu PF soldiers, is a coward in camouflage.

“How often has he been insulted by Grace but never responded? If by ‘sell-out’ he means ‘those who have no revolutionary history’, why doesn’t he say Jonathan Moyo, Grace Mugabe and Saviour Kasukuwere by name?

“When he says ‘we’, who is he referring to? Who is he? Is he talking on behalf of the cabal or voters? Our country is a constitutional democracy that does not allow misguided men in uniform or presidential family dynasties. So my take is that Zimbabweans should ignore Chiwenga with the contempt he deserves.”

Southern Africa director at Human Rights Watch Dewa Mavhinga said Chiwenga is clearly meddling in politics.

“This confirms our research findings that Zimbabwe’s military leadership is extremely politicised and highly partisan, viewing themselves as shareholders in Zanu PF.

“But . . . Chiwenga has no political standing whatsoever to dictate who Zimbabwe’s leader should be. The country is a democracy that chooses leaders through elections without following the whims of an army general.”

Mavhinga added that Chiwenga’s reckless statements violate the Constitution of Zimbabwe which prohibits members of security forces from involvement in politics. It also violates international law.

Social commentator Rashweat Mukundu said the army has taken a position to involve itself in politics as indicated already by Mugabe and the first lady.

“Constitutionally, the security sector must operate free from politics and that engenders confidence in the military and other security agents.

“This statement from Chiwenga also induces fear and undermines elections as he is pointing to a criterion of electing or choosing leaders that is not provided in law and undermines democratic practice.

“The criterion for political office is spelt out in the Constitution and not located at KGVI. In essence, it becomes an attempt to tilt the political environment through fear mongering and abuse of history for political motives.”

Comments (24)

This whole talk of sellouts and whites never ruling is empty talk. We know that until Hunzvi and his warvets threatened to depose Bob in 2000 after Svosve invasions Mugabe used to frequently fly to the UK to get his instructions. They even gave him a knighthood in 1994 as defender of the British Empire. He now takes his instructions from China. Chiwengwa, clearly forgets who appointed him when he failed his exam at staff college and was even incompetent to commit suicide, what is that if not selling out? He is a party commissar in uniform and from the look of things, not a very good one. We also know that 'sellouts' have other people write their PHD thesis and pass it as their own.

Lt General - 27 October 2017

zvinotaura kuti phd rako nderako kwete rechikoro this is the beginning of your end

g40 - 27 October 2017

pamuromo chete.

g40 - 27 October 2017

Chihwenga must here forthwith tender his resignation fr active military life to join full time politics in support of the party he so wishes.We are tired of politicking militants bulldozing their ways in how our country is run.The very reason of going to war was to protect the people's right to choose whoever they like to run this country.And Chihwenga & Mugabe were not the only men who fought our war;if they miss the real goals of the struggle in their brains,then itz their problem;the right of the people to choose who ever they want;including the white citizens or the so called papperts shld remain in the basic concept of one man one vote

addmore gudo - 27 October 2017

Can he define what a 'sell-out' is? are whites less zimbabwean than the average joe? Theis brother should just admit that he is in the feeding trough and does not want that disturbed. His mindset is rather off, he would rather let the country go further down the drain than let the people's will take precedent. Shame on him, but then again, these guys clearly have no shame at all, sob sob

FranciXavier - 28 October 2017

Who is this Chiwenga referring to when he says "We" will never allow sellouts or whites to take over this country? You and whom Chiwenga.On whose behalf are saying this?Is it not not a free and fair election that should determine who should rule?Didn't you go to war in order to have one man one vote and to choose leaders without freely without fear.What do you intend to do when the opposition wins the elections?How can someone in your positions spew such reckless and unprofessional statements which belong the stone age era.You might think that you have all the protection that you need from the army that you lead but you will eventually become so vulnerable one day you will pay dearly for all your stupid statements.

Janana wa Bikaz - 28 October 2017

Chiwenga please spare us your reckless statements.Its not a secret that you and your fellow thieves in zanu pf have benefitted immensely from looting state resources with impunity and you want to defend your loot by any means possible even if it means killing innocent people.Wen you say "We" ,it is you all your other zanu pf apologists because the only constituency that you represent is the army.You want to go to war with unarmed and defenseless citizens?Shame on you,shame on the place that you were born.People went to war so that they could have one man one vote and because you have been stealing diamonds,you now want to reverse what people went to war for.If anything,you are the biggest sellout,you are actually worse than the whites that you always dream of taking the country.

Janana wa Bikaz - 28 October 2017

Chiwenga please spare us your reckless statements.Its not a secret that you and your fellow thieves in zanu pf have benefitted immensely from looting state resources with impunity and you want to defend your loot by any means possible even if it means killing innocent people.Wen you say "We" ,it is you all your other zanu pf apologists because the only constituency that you represent is the army.You want to go to war with unarmed and defenseless citizens?Shame on you,shame on the place that you were born.People went to war so that they could have one man one vote and because you have been stealing diamonds,you now want to reverse what people went to war for.If anything,you are the biggest sellout,you are actually worse than the whites that you always dream of taking the country.

Janana wa Bikaz - 28 October 2017

Anopenga uyo, he is living in the past, he sees the gravy train is now threatened. Zimbabweans are suffering and the first thing which must die now is Chihwenga's party ZANU PF. The people of Zimbabwe ndivo vanopa right to a party to govern not that foolish general.

Driver - 28 October 2017

Social Commentator Rejoice Ngwenya: you are spot-on. I like your style: no beating about the bush - SEZVAZVIRI ! Thumbs up sisi !

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 28 October 2017

chiwenga kuwana simba rekutaura kuguta mari dzedu dzema tax you are forgetting that no body forced you to go to war so remember you don't own this country if you do then chase us out after all you think the the people that you commanding likes and obeys you just wait and see when the other party wins ... you are a stupid commander

nhohoreka - 29 October 2017

Vana Chiwenga tinyararirei zvedu. Hamuna kana power. You were challenged by Jonathan ukati zii. You were challenged by Grace ukati ziii

Mangudya - 30 October 2017

Zvaataura ndizvo zvichaitika kunyangwe tisingade , tinogona kutaura chete mapolitical commentator chabuda hapana. Zimbabwe is full of educated fools

chimugoti - 30 October 2017

Spot on General.No sellouts .You can all define yourselves if you are a sellout hokoyo na General.He is not General for nothing.That message is for Johnso and company.wHITES ARE GONE, same as MDC, gone.MDC kungodaira henyu but its not your message.You are out of the mantrix.Zvigamhira padenga.General is talking of the coming congress and elections.We dont salute pwere dzazuro.Nor do we salute dreamers.We dont salute homos and their trainees .When you are seen in the company of ngochanis and you want to be president ,think again.

muroyi wa viola - 30 October 2017

With due respect, that is a reckless and nonsensical installment from the army boss. The real sellouts are actually those governing us now. Their kind of leadership is far from being humane.

george - 30 October 2017

There isn't much to say. Asi kungoti this Army Boss imhata pamafungire ake. Just becoz he is lined to be Mnangangwa's 1st Vice President, there he doesn't want anyone anovhiringa his future. Dako rako. You can't choose Zim future, zimbos will collectively do that. Go hand

Ndazvitaura - 30 October 2017

So if we don't want Zanu or the Mugabes we are up for Treason or a sellout!!!

Ann - 30 October 2017

Is that a threat or you are simply singing for your supper. You know very well that you are staring expulsion from the army in the eye and you are trying to please the fossil. you will not threaten us you old fool. Zizi harina nyanga iwe mugodhoyi.

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 31 October 2017

Is that a threat or you are simply singing for your supper. You know very well that you are staring expulsion from the army in the eye and you are trying to please the fossil. you will not threaten us you old fool. Zizi harina nyanga iwe mugodhoyi.

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 31 October 2017

Is that a threat or you are simply singing for your supper. You know very well that you are staring expulsion from the army in the eye and you are trying to please the fossil. you will not threaten us you old fool. Zizi harina nyanga iwe mugodhoyi.

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 31 October 2017

What are the Chris Mutsvangwa aligned war vets saying about this sick general's threats? I am made to understand that they have gone back to the people, for the people and by the people?

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 31 October 2017

What is a sellout? AIDS yako yavekunyangira mafungiro ako. Its affecting your brains.

Lungundu Lungumba - 31 October 2017

Chiwenga stop behaving like a big babbon you destroyed zimbabwe dont threaten us ok anyone who wins election has the right to rule you are a black racist am also black you real dont have brains how do you lead the army

magabe - 31 October 2017

Sad reading indeed. I don't see how we will move forward as a country with such leaders. Why do we still talk of whites and blacks. We are all Zimbabweans lets join hands and build the economy not talk rubbish like this. People are suffering prices are ballooning people don't have jobs. But still we hear our leaders busy attacking the whites ?? Are they the reason why we are suffering ? NO!! How do we have ministers recycled over and over. We take somebody from Home affairs and make him finance minister ?? What does he know about running a business ?? What has he done to show he understands economics ??? Why do we play politics with such an important ministry ?? It shows that priority is staying in power and not serving the people. Is that why they went to war ? to remove the "whites" and replace them with greedy people who do not care about the people. Sometimes I ask myself why of all countries I ended up here. Take a look at prices of things in SA and Bots and you will really feel pained. What didi we do to deserve this as Zimbabweans. A family of 3 now needs $200 to buy decent groceries. That money in SA or Bots will feed a dozen people.

CryZimbabwe - 1 November 2017

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