ZNA retires soldiers to run ZEC

ballot_paperHARARE - In anticipation of elections later this year the Zanu (PF) element in government has retired a number of army officers and moved them permanently to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

Some of the soldiers have been responsible for running elections in Zimbabwe for the past eight years, and many helped President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) to rig the landmark 2008 elections.

A highly place ZEC source revealed that these Mugabe loyalists have been retired from the army to become full time employees of the elections monitoring body, which was re-constituted last year under the terms of the GPA.

The partisan soldiers were permanently transferred to ZEC under the pretence that they had terminated their services with the army. The truth of the matter is that it was a desperate Zanu (PF) strategy to hoodwink the world and maintain its influence on the outcome of the elections. Once a partisan soldier, always a partisan soldier, said the source.

But there seems to be a revolving door between the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and ZEC. Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba, who was said to have retired from the army to run ZEC before the 2008 elections, is now back in the army. He is commanding 3 Brigade in Manicaland and spearheading Zanu (PF)s election campaign in the province.

ZEC Director for Information, Shupikai Mashereni, was one of the former soldiers, all reportedly die-hard Mugabe sympathisers, who was retired from the army to protect Zanu (PF) interests within ZEC.

Mashereni is a former public relations officer with the Army Public Relations Directorate based at KG6 Barracks in Harare. He and others were seconded to ZEC some eight years ago. Over the years other pro-Mugabe soldiers, police officers, prison officials and war veterans have been moved over to ZEC to manipulate the outcome of past elections, said the source.

He added that, if ever Zimbabwe was to achieve free and fair elections, there was an urgent need for a complete overhaul and recruitment of new personnel at the countrys electoral supervisory commission.

Post published in: News

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