Thursday, 18 August 2016

RESIGN AND JOIN POLITICS, CHIWENGA TOLD

Former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) party has challenged defence forces commander Constantino Chiwenga to resign from the military and join politics if he so wishes.

Chiwenga has been accused of dabbling in politics through utterances which have riled opposition and pro-democracy groups, with some claiming his conduct was tantamount to an “armed factionalist in military attire”.

Others have urged him to quit the army and face his opponents in the political ring.
This comes in the wake of Chiwenga’s alleged unconstitutional rants following Mujuru’s attack on President Robert Mugabe at a rally in Mashonaland East Province in April, where she called the nonagenarian to order for allegedly denigrating the role played by other war veterans during the war of liberation.

Chiwenga chose the event to fire a broadside that many believed was a response to Mujuru saying he was aware of machinations of alleged enemies of the country to destabilise Zimbabwe using local elements.

“By commenting on statements made by  Mujuru at a rally, Chiwenga abdicates his role as the commander of the Zimbabwe army assuming new roles as Mugabe’s spokesperson, Zanu PF spokesperson, spokesperson for the war veterans, all rolled in one,” said ZPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire in a statement yesterday .

In his statement Chiwenga said the country’s security forces were on high alert to thwart any such machinations.

“We are aware of all their tricks; even during the liberation struggle we also had the same problems.

“We had numerous rebellions …they are waging a war on the country, the country’s political system, the country’s economy and the defence forces of the country…there is a real assault on the establishment of Zimbabwe,” Chiwenga said.

And Mawarire said Chiwenga’s comments should be condemned in the strongest of terms as they were in contravention of provisions of sections 211 and 208 of the Constitution.
The sections provide that “members of the security services must act in accordance with the Constitution and the law” and must not “act in a partisan manner” or “further the interests of any political party or cause”.

“We respect Chiwenga’s rights as a Zimbabwean, his freedom of expression and his right to associate or join a political party of his choice, but we implore him to do that within the confines of the law and outside his official designation as commander of our armed forces.

“He should, if he wants to be politically active, relinquish his position in the force and join active politics wherein he would subject himself to the vagaries of political criticism without the luxury of falling back on military force against perceived political opponents”.

Mawarire added that it was his party’s belief that Chiwenga’s involvement in partisan politics was a ploy by the country’s security forces to intimidate all those he sees as his opponents.

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