Generals to keep their jobs in new regime, says MDC

mugabe_teamHARARE - Zimbabwes generals, whove played a key role in keeping President Robert Mugabe (pictured) in power, wont lose their jobs if Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai forms an exclusive MDC government in elections next year, a senior party spokesman has told The Zimbabwean.

The heads of the army and security forces, who have helped keep Mugabe (86) in power since his defeat by Tsvangirai two years ago, have been assured their contracts will not be terminated. The change in the regime will be in the States superstructure not its administration and security, MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told The Zimbabwean in an interview.

Analysts say Mugabe is banking on these commanders to fight next years elections amid complaints by the MDC that there have already been troop deployments to rural areas.

There are also mounting concern that Mugabes political forces against Tsvangirais MDC are regrouping and restrategising to pummel the population into submission through violence, the MDC says.

Chamisa said there was no reason for the security commanders to fear change at Munhumutapa Building, the centre of executive power in government.

Our soldiers appreciate that when we talk about the change of regime, its not the change of the bureaucracy or the security organs, Chamisa said. What we are fighting for is for those who occupy the positions of government not necessarily the bureaucracy or securocracy.

But in recent days, Defence Forces commanders, including Brigadier General Douglas Nyikaramba and police chief Augustine Chihuri, have issued tough statements backing Mugabe and denouncing Tsvangirai and his party as puppets and running dogs of Western countries. They have clearly stated that they will not accept Tsvangirais victory.

Chamisa said the MDC was ready for an election as soon as its minimum conditions were met.

The MDC spokesman complained that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was still stuffed with CIO officers and soldiers.

We cant have another election with George Chiweshe, with Sekeramayi, as the chief elections officer when in fact he was the chief culprit in the past disputed election,

Chamisa said. We still have contaminated software at ZEC. This is a new ZEC; everything has to be done anew.

He also said more independent broadcasters were needed ahead of an election.

ZBC is no longer a medium of national communication. We no longer have a public broadcaster, we have a party broadcaster. ZBC is in the pockets of Zanu (PF).

He added that the voters roll needed to be regularised and the country needed to adopt a biometric voters roll, a system that takes fingerprints linked to a computerised database.

The MDC said it wanted SADC observers and monitors to be empowered to assume policing duties.

We no longer have full confidence in the systems we have, said Chamisa. They have become too politicised. We have to work with SADC to come up with a formula that is acceptable.

Chamisa rejected accusations that the MDC was coming up with new conditions because it was afraid of facing an election.

Thats rubbish, he said. Its like saying a Christian is not interested in Christmas.

Whether you like it nor not, Christmas will come. Its an annual event on the on the calendar.

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