Army a tool of oppression

army_liberatorsJOHANNESBURG - The Zimbabwean armed forces are charged with the duties of protecting and defending the nation, but have been turned to tools of suppression and oppression says some former military personnel. (Picture: The Zimbabwean army has been criticised for being Zanu (

The former AirForce of Zimbabwe officer, Solomon Chikowero, bemoans the fact that the once respected defence forces in Zimbabwe have been turned into Zanu (PF)s private security. According to him, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe National Army, Zimbabwe Prison services, Airforce of Zimbabwe and the Central Intelligence Organization have thrown professionalism out of the window and are now boot lickers of a dictator who have passed his sell-by date.

These comrades in arms have to safeguard the sovereignty of the country and protect Zimbabweans. Unfortunately they have been turned into symbols of oppression and suppressers of peace. The only protection one can celebrate is the one which is celebrated by dictators only and not those who are pro- democratic. The army and the police are responsible for looting, intimidation, murder, torture, kidnapping and abusers of human rights.

Solomon argues that the forces are used to destroy party or individuals deemed as a threat to Zanu (PF)s dominance. He argues that the security forces image is in tatters after they were used during the Gukurahundi era said that they were responsible for destroying Zapu.

Ndodana Virus Dlamini, a former police officer, concurred with Solomon Chikowero. He said that the rot started at the top when the armed forces were politicized and used to fight Zanu (PF) battles which were supposed to be fought in the ballot boxes. Dlamini said that even though that The President appointed Commissioner Chihuri, it was against the Police Act for him to publicly say he supported Zanu (PF).

The police have undermined the judiciary of the country by not honouring the court decisions, being involved in corrupt activities, and using Zanu (PF) militia to terrorize the opposition. They have become a law unto them themselves by not ensuring that there is a rule of law in the country, he said.

Dlamini lambasted the promotion of war veterans and those loyal to Zanu (PF) saying they were partly responsible for ruining the professionalism of the ZRP. He singled out Innocent Matibiri who is related to the President and was elevated to the position of Deputy Commissioner in a few years of service. Ndodana said the police must, like their logo says, serve the law, the people and the country. If they fail to do so, Dlamini believes they will find themselves in court in future.

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