Chinamasa threatens coup if Tsvangirai wins
By Lance Guma
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa has suggested that military generals in Zimbabwe will do anything in their power to prevent Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai from taking over should he win presidential elections next year.
Asked by BBC journalist Andrew Harding about the possibility of Tsvangirai winning the presidential election as he did in March 2008, Chinamasa who lost his own parliamentary seat in Makoni Central to an MDC-T candidate said:
“He [Tsvangirai] cannot win. He has been campaigning and mobilising against the interests of Zimbabweans on many issues, whether talking about land, seeking to reverse the gains of the liberation struggle.
“And this is where the military comes in…. Young people participated in the liberation struggle to gain control over our resources. Many friends died and are buried in unmarked graves.
“Now if anyone is going to say: ‘When I come into power I’m going to reverse that,’ they [the military] have every right to say: ‘Please – you are asking for trouble. You will be asking for trouble.’
“He [Tsvangirai] will be asking for trouble to seek to reverse the land reform programme. There is no-one who is going to accept any enslavement.”
Asked by the BBC journalist what he meant by trouble, Chinamasa said “You could put any interpretation on it that you want.” But when asked him for his own interpretation he said: “I know he [Tsvangirai] is the front of (sic) the countries that impose sanctions.
“And if those countries impose for him to win, that result will not be acceptable. We will not accept it. We will just not accept it. Isn’t that clear?”
After Tsvangirai won the March 2008 presidential election the Joint Operations Command (JOC), a grouping of all the state security agencies loyal to Mugabe, responded with the brutal Operation Mavhotera Papi (where did you vote).
Over 500 perceived MDC-T supporters were killed, while tens of thousands were tortured and maimed. A power sharing deal to save face for Mugabe was eventually put in place following pressure from the SADC regional grouping.