Army Commander hails inclusive Govt

In an apparent sign of change in the attitude of the Army towards the inclusive government, the Commander of 4 Brigade in Masvingo, Brigadier Francis Mtisi, has landed his support to the all inclusive Government saying it was a clear indication that Zimbabwe had matured in terms of national development.

Speaking to journalists in Masvingo province during a seminar on military-media relations on Wednesday, he said Zimbabwe was blessed to have visionary leaders who cherish the ideals of engagement instead of conflict.

Brig Gen Mtisi said the fact that Zimbabwean political parties sat down to hammer out a political settlement indicated that Zimbabwe had entered a new epoch as far as development was concerned. "The fact that our country today has got an inclusive Government that was created after Zimbabweans decided to talk to one another is a barometer of a certain stage that the country has reached in terms of development.

"When the people of a nation can sit down together to discuss their problems and reach an agreement that would be a clear sign that they would have reached a certain stage of development," said Brig Gen Mtisi.

He pointed out that there were some countries where political leaders could not sit down together to discuss their problems and reach an agreement as what happened in Zimbabwe.

Brig Gen Mtisi said such agreements could only be reached in countries where the stage of development was high.

Zimbabwe’s national unity government got off to a bad start last month, raising doubts about its ability to usher in political stability and economic revival in the country. Most worrying was the attitude of the Commanders who seemed unhappy with the inclusive agreement.

The military and security chiefs had previously declared that they would not salute Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the mainstream formation of the splintered opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Now they seem to be doing everything in their power to support the unity government that has elevated the man they accused of being a Western puppet to the prime minister’s office, making him one of their bosses.

In an apparent gesture of disapproval, the chiefs boycotted Tsvangirai’s swearing-in ceremony at the State House on Feb. 11 – the first time since independence in 1980 that they stayed away from a ceremony presided over by Mugabe. The gesture left many wondering what that meant to the all-inclusive government.

Brigadier General Mtisi’s statement is a marked departure to the previous stance by the army. The statement will go a long way to demystify some of the misconceptions that might have existed between the army and the new inclusive government.

Zimbabwe Observer

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