The military and police chiefs have launched a spirited campaign on behalf of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF ahead of the next do-or-die elections to regain ground lost to the MDC parties in the last polls.
The security forces have begun their campaign — which is clearly in violation of the constitution — in Manicaland where it is believed people mainly in rural areas would be easily swayed because of their painful experience and bitter memories of the liberation struggle.
Informed sources say after the recent invasion of the province by security personnel who held meetings with Zanu PF provincial coordinating committee officials, a team of about 25 army generals and police chiefs last weekend held two meetings.
One was in Chimanimani at Biriwiri school on Saturday and another in Nyanga on Sunday where party supporters spoke about factionalism, imposition of candidates and vote-buying during district coordinating elections (DCC) in the province.
The meetings were part of the security forces’ campaign to lay the ground for Zanu PF and Mugabe who is agitating for early elections. The securocrats are expected to hold further meetings in all eight districts in Manicaland in a bid to reclaim the province from the MDC-T.
Their campaign is expected to spread to Buhera on Saturday and Chipinge on Sunday. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party won 20 of the 26 seats in the province during the March 2008 elections. It also holds four of the six senate seats.
Last weekend’s meetings were chaired by deputy police commissioner-general Godwin Matanga and attended by high-ranking officials who included Brigadier-General Mike Sango, retired Air Commodore Michael Karakadzai and Officer Commanding Police Harare province Senior Assistant Commissioner Clement Munoriarwa.
This was a follow-up to a meeting held on April 29 at Mary Mount Teachers’ College by close to 50 top service chiefs, who included Matanga, Major-General Martin Chedondo, Air Vice Marshal Shebba Brighton Shumbayawonda, Brigadier-General Herbert Chingono and Brigadier-General Mike Sango, 3 Brigade commander Brigadier-General Eliah Bandama and members of the provincial Joint Operations Command. Zimbabwe Independent