Army holding Mugabe hostage

President Robert Mugabe is reluctant to deal with a defiant army because the military gave him power in the June 2008 re-run election, Qhubani Moyo, the Director for Policy and Research for the Welshman Ncube led MDC said recently.

Moyo was speaking at a public debate organised by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network under the topic: “The Presidential Running Mate Principle: Solution or Complication to Zimbabwe’s Protracted Succession Nightmare?”

“The unfortunate issue that we have in the country is around the militarisation of institutions including that political party (Zanu (PF)) itself. We speak of a civilian process, for instance the census, where you have the army demanding 10,000 slots, which is a third of the enumerators,” said Moyo.

A feeble complaint

He was referring to recent disruptions of the training of enumerators by the army ahead of the national population census that started at the weekend. Soldiers descended on training centres demanding to be part of the preparations and workshops had to be briefly suspended.

President Mugabe made a feeble complaint against the army, but no concrete action was taken.

According to the Defence Act, the soldiers who disrupted the training are supposed to be arraigned before a marshal court.

The Defence Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, Constantine Chiwenga, did not chide their charges, giving rise to suspicion that they were behind the disruptions.

The military is believed to have played an active role in systematic political violence before, during and immediately after the June 2008 presidential run-off from which MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was forced to withdraw.

“You have a country which had a smart coup .The military won the election by “ginya” (force) in the June 2008 (elections) and they put Mugabe there on their behalf. They make sure that whatever happens they always want to claim their share because they played a crucial role,” said Moyo.

Moyo said the army was rejecting the draft constitution because they were afraid of losing power. Zanu (PF) recently delivered its verdict on Zimbabwe’s draft constitution, demanding the scrapping of a clause that requires presidential candidates to appoint running mates. The clause would force Mugabe and his MDC rivals Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube to name two vice president nominees before elections.

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