“ZDF Is More Like Zanu Pf, It’s Ours” – Says Christopher Mutsvangwa

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Keith T Mambo
Keith T Mambohttps://www.zimetro.co.zw/
Keith T. Mambo is currently a reporter for ZiMetro News . He focuses on identity politics for The Southern Eye. He was previously a fellow at the UCT University of Cape Town for Political Science.

“ZDF Is More Like Zanu Pf, It’s Ours” – Says Christopher Mutsvangwa

There are concerns that the security sector could be utilized to sway the results of the elections held next year because the ruling Zanu PF party has boasted that it had the nation’s military and war veterans on its side.

Last Friday, Christopher Mutsvangwa, national chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association and a spokesperson for Zanu PF, said: “We are thrilled as war veterans; we are going to make sure that we support you (Zanu PF).

We also understand that we are proudly connected to our friends who serve in the military. The world’s best army is here with us.

To ensure that we have the best army in the world, we have remained there. We are constantly aware of the part they play in protecting our country and ensuring that our enemies are kept at a distance.

Additionally, Mutsvangwa issued a grave warning to the opposition, particularly the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa, saying those calling for security sector reforms were daydreaming and that war veterans would not be messing around ahead of next year’s polls to make sure Zanu PF retains power.

“We won’t tolerate people who claim that the security sector needs change since our army is the greatest. The guys and girls are back in town, and we want to send a very strong warning to the opposition,” he said.

Colonel Alphios Makotore, a spokesman for the Zimbabwe National Army, yesterday declined to respond to Mutsvangwa’s assertions.

The army doesn’t comment on political matters since Mutsvangwa is a politician, Makotore added.

The government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa was installed in office in 2017 after the late former president Robert Mugabe was overthrown in a coup.

In past elections, the army and war veterans have been accused of helping sustain Zanu PF rule.

Army generals are on record stating that they will never salute any President without liberation war credentials.

During the 2008 election re-run elections when Mugabe was the Zanu PF presidential candidate, the campaign period was characterised by violence which resulted in many opposition MDC-T members, then led by the late Morgan Tsvangirai, being killed or maimed in brutal assaults by alleged war veterans, soldiers and Zanu PF militia.

Six unarmed individuals were shot dead by troops on August 1, 2018, during rallies by MDC Alliance members headed at the time by Chamisa against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s protracted delays in releasing election results.

In order to fill the 40 seats set aside for the wing in the party, Zanu PF has decided to create a war veterans’ league. The league will conduct its election congress next month.

Mutsvangwa said war veterans were aware of the heavy responsibility thrust upon them.

“We will not disappoint Zanu PF and the President. We will also bring in organisation and discipline … The discipline is symptomatic of the people who fought against an organised imperial army and won. It will be yours in a formal way for you to harness so that we deliver once-and-for-all a final blow to those who have pretensions to think that there can be regime change in Zimbabwe.”

CCC deputy spokesperson Gift “Ostallos” Sibiza said this was an indication that Zanu PF was desperate to get the security sector on its side ahead of next year’s elections because its campaign was losing steam due to the country’s worsening economic crisis.

“It’s a clear desperate attempt by Zanu PF which is losing political support at a time CCC support is surging, as has been confirmed by the Afrobarometer survey and also by ordinary people because of the deepening socioeconomic crisis in the country,” Siziba said.

“Every Zimbabwean has rejected Zanu PF because of its failure, and they are doing everything to re-engage stakeholders including war veterans. It is clear and is of no doubt that Zanu PF is running from post to pillar because only the CCC government led by president Nelson Chamisa can be able to protect the legacy of the liberation struggle.”

Political analysts said Mutsvangwa’s utterances were a clear indication that the securocrats were involved in the country’s political affairs.

“Zanu PF has always relied on pressuring the ex-combatants and security institutions to support it as it has not always been confident about its electability. Where persuasion, the proverbial carrot has not been successful in influencing voters, these have provided the coercion, the proverbial stick,” commentator Vivid Gwede said.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said: “In terms of 2023, there is nothing much to expect unless the military chooses to work with the masses. Otherwise, the people’s vote will be stolen once again and the election will usher in a cycle of legitimacy issues, poor governance, economic crisis and further deterioration of social services.

“We have re-lived this vicious cycle since 2000 and every stolen election brought phases of despair in the cycle.”

Another political analyst Effie Ncube added: “The relationship between the entire security infrastructure with partisan organisations is prohibited by the Constitution and every organ, including the army, is subject to the Constitution of Zimbabwe. So the idea that there can be any relationship between security forces with political parties, for instance Zanu PF, is a brazen violation of the Constitution.”

Source | NewsDay

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