By Frazer Muzondo
The overbearing influence of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) on the daily operations of the Zimbabwean government must stop forthwith. Cocky Chiwenga and other ‘retired’ army generals are covertly subjecting the country to military rule.
Recently, trigger-happy soldiers usurped the duties of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and needlessly rushed to the streets where they gunned down six unarmed innocent civilians.
The level of impunity and arrogance being displayed by members of the national army is barbaric, ghastly and uncultured. A national army should be a beacon of peace and discipline. An epitome of protection and professionalism.
The army must essentially focus on protecting the country’s borders and maintaining peace. The army must only be called in to quell a civil unrest where it is apparently and extremely a violent disturbance. And where police have exhausted all the means at their disposal.
Why is the Zimbabwean army so keen to get involved even in the slightest of civil disobedience? The influx of ‘retired’ army generals into the Zimbabwean government is a major cause for concern.
Notably Messrs, Constantino Chiwenga, Perrance Shiri, Sibusiso Moyo and two other ambassadors have recently been appointed to high ranking government positions and to the position of Vice President in the case of Mr Chiwenga.
While all these ‘retired’ senior army officials possess great experience in shooting and directing wars, they are apparently not well informed in leading a modern-day democratic society such as Zimbabwe.
Why is the constitution being abused to hire political illiterates from the army and parachuting them to ministerial and ambassadorial positions?
These ‘retired’ army generals are clueless when it comes to modern-day governance, democratic tenets and the practical intelligence for international business.
With their constant disposition to using brutal force and their wanton disregard of constitutional democracy, the ‘retired’ army generals are taking Zimbabwe backwards. Who is going to free our beloved Zimbabwe from this veiled yet domineering influence by the ‘retired’ army generals?
The recent events in Zimbabwe seem to point to the fact that the coup plotter and now Vice President Constantino Guvheya Chiwenga has become too powerful and he is the one in charge. Unfortunately Chiwenga, doesn’t possess civilian skills but military skills. It was wrong to take Chiwenga straight from the barracks straight into a civilian powerful office like that of Vice President.
Chiwenga seem to be calling the shots since after the elections and he is using his military skills which must be confined in the barracks. When soldiers killed civilians, Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to appoint independent investigators to find out who authorised the deployment of the soldiers in the streets of Harare.
The riot police tried to disrupt a press conference, the president elect again sent Simon Khaya Moyo to stop them. Therefore, the president elect is always holding a mop to try and clean up, but who is messing up?
Everything points to the too powerful VP Constantino Chiwenga who Katie Hoey has rightly called for his removal from the VP post and relieve him of Defence Ministry duties that he is holding onto against the constitution of Zimbabwe as a precondition for any international support.
Frazer Muzondo is a member of the MDC UK and Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR Zimbabwe)