Most soldiers support MDC: Mutsekwa

The majority of Zimbabwe’s armed forces are not Zanu (PF) zealots but professionals guided by a strong belief in safeguarding the national interest, according to MDC Secretary for Defence and Security Giles Mutsekwa.


“These patriots and professionals have always yearned for their space under an open, civilian and democratic order. They have indicated to the MDC that they do not wish to dabble in politics as this is clearly against their Constitutional mandate,” he said.

Mutsekwa said the majority of soldiers of all ranks were opposed to the politicisation of the security forces.

Recently a few senior army officers have made political statements in support of Zanu (PF). They accused Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of being a security threat.

But election results from wards and constituencies housing military cantonment areas have, since 2000, shown that the MDC is hugely popular in areas with large concentrations of security forces, both in rural and urban areas.

Writing in the MDC’s Real Change Times newsletter this week, Mutsekwa said Zanu (PF) was well aware of this, and therefore ensured that senior commanders loyal to the party maintained a close watch on security forces and their families during the June 27 2008 sham runoff elections.

“At the time, the MDC was inundated with complaints about the violation of the secrecy of the ballot. In some police, prison, army and airforce camps, junior officers were severely punished for refusing to be cowed to vote for Zanu (PF), and to show their completed ballot papers to their seniors,” said Mutsekwa.

The MDC says it is convinced, from the information gleaned from extensive research and surveys, that the possibility of a military induced takeover of a popularly elected government is very remote.

Mutsekwa said military take-overs had outlived their usefulness in Africa and elsewhere and such an idea would never gain currency in Zimbabwe and SADC.

“SADC has already shown its concern with recent utterances from serving and retired generals about the possibility of a military induced chaotic situation should Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) lose the forthcoming election,” he said.

The role of the military in Zimbabwe’s destabilisation is increasingly coming under the region’s spotlight.

Mutsekwa said that, after a decade of denials, SADC was now aware of the complexities of Zimbabwe’s electoral landscape through the military’s blatant meddling in election management and administration.

Referring to a recent statements by senior officials that: “An MDC victory could mean the military could stage a coup or Zimbabwe could go to war. We have grown up with and were groomed by Zanu (PF), it’s what we are,” Mutsekwa said: “Such thinking that the police, the army and CIO are meant to protect Mugabe and Zanu (PF) only needs to be addressed.

“The MDC has always expressed its revulsion at such careless fighting talk.”

Tsvangirai has repeatedly called for patience among Zimbabweans, given that Mugabe is “certainly on his way out” due to advanced age and dwindling support.

He has already called on the generals to take off their uniforms and join the political fray if they have any realistic political alternatives for a new Zimbabwe.

“But we will not participate in a violent election,” he told thousands of supporters at Pfupajena Stadium in Chegutu on Sunday.”

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *