Full Text of statement by General Constantino Chiwenga before military coup
By General Constantino Chiwenga
Let us begin by quoting the Constitution of this Country particularly the preamble which speaks of “Exalting and extolling the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the Chimurenga/Umvukela and national liberation struggles and honouring our forebears and compatriots who toiled for the progress of our country”.
It is with humility and a heavy heart that we come before you to pronounce the indisputable reality that there is instability in Zanu-PF today and as a result anxiety in the country at large.
Zimbabwe’s history is hinged on the ideals of the revolution dating back to the First Chimurenga where thousands of people perished. Zanu-PF is the political Party that waged the Second Chimurenga for our independence; the struggle that caused the loss of over 50 000 lives of our people; the struggle in which many Zimbabweans, in one way or the other, sacrificed and contributed immensely for our liberation. Many of these gallant fighters still live on with the spirited hope of seeing a prosperous Zimbabwe, but also the hope of leaving behind inheritance and legacy for posterity.
It is pertinent to restate that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces remain the major stockholder in respect to the gains of the liberation struggle and when these are threatened we are obliged to take corrective measures.
Clearly, Zanu-PF having mainly been the only Party that has ruled this country since Independence, it had become a household name to most Zimbabweans across the political divide. Therefore, it is common cause that any instability within the Party naturally impacts on their social, political and economic lives, accordingly, there is distress, trepidation and despondence within the nation.
Our peace loving people who have stood by their Government and endured some of the most trying social and economic conditions ever experienced are extremely disturbed by what is happening within the ranks of the national revolutionary Party. What is obtaining in the revolutionary Party is a direct result of the machinations of counter revolutionaries who have infiltrated the Party and whose agenda is to destroy it from within.
It is saddening to see our revolution being hijacked by agents of our erstwhile enemies who are now at the brink of returning our country to foreign domination against which so many of our people perished. The famous slogan espoused by His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde R. G. Mugabe; “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again” is being seriously challenged by counter revolutionary infiltrators who are now effectively influencing the direction of the Party.
It is our strong and deeply considered position that if drastic action is not taken immediately, our beloved country Zimbabwe is definitely headed to becoming a neo-colony again. The current purging and cleansing process in Zanu-PF which so far is targeting mostly members associated with our liberation history is a serious cause for concern to us in the Defence Forces.
As a result of squabbling within the ranks of Zanu-PF, there has been no meaningful development in the country for the past five years. The resultant economic impasse has ushered in more challenges to the Zimbabwean populace such as cash shortages and rising commodity prices.
Our revolutionary path is replete with conduct and rebellion by people who have attempted to destroy the revolution from within. The formation of FROLIZI, the attempt to remove the late Cde Chitepo from his position of Chairman at the Mumbwa bogus Congress in 1973, the Nhari-Badza rebellion, Ndabaningi Sithole rebellion soon after the death of Cde Chitepo, the Vashandi 1 and 2 as well as the rebellion that led to the death of the late ZIPRA Commander, Cde Alfred Nikita Mangena, among others are cases in point.
Therefore, the current shenanigans by people who do not share the same liberation history of Zanu-PF Party are not a surprise to us. But, what is significant to us and the generality of Zimbabweans is to remember that all these rebellions were defused by the military, but at no point did the military usurp power.
We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in. ZANU PF’s standing political virtues are a product of faithful adherence to the founding values, decorum, discipline and revolutionary protocol in the ruling Party. Party orders were strictly adhered to and whatever differences existed, they were resolved amicably and in the ruling Party’s closet.
Unfortunately since the turn of 2015, Zanu-PF’s traditional protocol and procedures have been changed with a lot of gossiping, back-biting and public chastisement being the order of the day.
Indeed the Party is undoing its legacy built over the years. While our people may be persuaded to take what is going on in Zanu-PF as internal political matters in that Party, the truth remains that Zanu-PF’s conduct and behaviour as a ruling Party has a direct impact on the lives of every citizen; hence all of us regardless of political affiliation are affected by the Party’s manner of doing business.
From a security point of view we cannot ignore the experiences of countries such as Somalia, DRC, Central Africa Republic and many others in our region where minor political differences degenerated into serious conflict that had decimated the social, political and economic security of ordinary people. Section 212 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe mandates the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to protect Zimbabwe, its people, its national security and interests and its territorial integrity and to uphold this Constitution.
Among other security threats that are coming out of what is obtaining in Zanu-PF are these reckless utterances by politicians denigrating the military which are causing despondency within the rank and file.
Further, we not with concern the attempts by some politicians to drive a wedge between the security services for their own selfish interests. This is unacceptable. We take great exception to this behaviour.
There is only one Commander-in-Chief, His Excellency, The President, Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde R. G. Mugabe. The military in an institution whose roles cut across the wider spectrum of Government support functions in the form of Military Aid to Civil Power and Military Aid to Civil Ministries, which are roles derived from Defence Instruments.
Therefore we want to state here and now that the history of our revolution cannot be rewritten by those who have not been part of it. Having said that we strongly urge the Party: To stop reckless utterances by politicians from the ruling Party denigrating the military which is causing alarm and despondency within the rank and file. The current purging of which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith.
The known counter revolutionary elements who have fermented the current instability in the Party must be exposed and fished out. As the Party goes for the Extraordinary Congress, (members) must go with equal opportunity to exercise their democratic rights. Comrades and friends, ladies and gentlemen, we remain committed to protecting our legacy and those bent on high-jacking the revolution will not be allowed to do so.
Further, we must understand that the freedoms that we enjoy today were as a result of supreme sacrifice by some of our countrymen and women and this must not be taken for granted. Let us remove this air of uncertainty and allow Zimbabweans to enjoy their freedoms and rights as enshrined in the national Constitution.
Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) General Constantino Chiwenga