Army will not accept MDC win

HARARE - Zimbabwe Defence Forces Brigadier General, David Sigauke, has come under a barrage of attack for his implicit threat of a coup if the forthcoming harmonized elections are won by the MDC, which he insinuates would be tantamount to a return to colonialism.
Sigauke, speaking at a pass o

ut parade of 47 troops at 22 Infantry in Mudzi at the weekend, said soldiers would fiercely defend their heritage either through the “ballot or through the bullet” and would never accept a return to colonialism.
His political statement shook the political opposition here, which read his statement as tacit admission that the armed forces would not accept results of elections if they are won by a candidate other than President Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party.
“I may therefore urge you as citizens of Zimbabwe to exercise your electoral right wisely in the forthcoming elections in 2008, remembering that ‘Zimbabwe shall never be a colony again,” said Sigauke.
“This unfortunate statement is a serious threat to the democratic institutions created by our constitution,” said Trust Maanda, a Harare-based lawyer. “In fact he is unduly influencing people to vote. There are threats for dire consequences if they vote otherwise. The army should never participate in civic affairs of any nation.”
MDC (Mutambara) spokesman Gabriel Chaibva said the senior military official was “confusing his professional role with populist rhetoric of politicians.”
Constitutional law expert Dr Lovemore Madhuku said the army’s threats were unwarranted, reprehensible and hazardous.
“Those threats are clearly outrageous and unconstitutional,” Madhuku said. “It clearly shows they have not yet recanted from Zvinavashe’s infamous declaration.”
In 2002, just before Mugabe’s clumsily stolen re-election, former Defence Force Commander, General Vitalis Zvinavashe declared that the armed forces will not “support or salute anyone with a different agenda that threatens the very existence of our sovereignty, our country and our people.”
MDC (Tsvangirai) spokesman Nelson Chamisa said the army should be liberated from the jaws of partisan politics. – Chief Reporter

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