By Blessed Mhlanga
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government yesterday denied allegations of deploying soldiers to Mozambique to help fight against jihadist terrorists.
The allegations came two days after Mnangagwa met with his counterpart Filipe Nyusi in the neighbouring country.
The director of Centre for Democracy and Development in Mozambique, Adriano Alfredo Nuvunga, made the claim on Twitter yesterday, but Zimbabwe dismissed it as false.
“Major military infantry and air force operation underway in northern Cabo Delgado, Mozambiquie’s State army supported by Angola and Zimbabwe searching the jihadist terrorist… the two leaders (Mnangagwa and Nyusi) met in Chimoio on April 30 and sealed the agreement,” Nuvunga claimed.
Mnangagwa, as chairperson of the Sadc organ on politics, defence and security co-operation, had visited neighbouring Mozambique to assess the situation in the region.
Information secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana denied the allegations that Zimbabwe had deployed troops to defend the Mozambican government.
“We have not deployed any troops in Mozambique and we are not supporting their army in any way,” Mangwana told NewsDay.
The communique released by the two leaders did not give any details of Zimbabwe’s involvement in the war although Mnangagwa and Nyusi accompanied by their Defence ministers discussed the jihadist insurgency.
“The two Heads of State addressed the security situation in Cabo Delgado and parts of the provinces of Manica and Sofala where terrorist and armed groups carry out attacks, murders and destruction of public and private infrastructure and strongly condemned these acts which seek to undermine efforts towards peace and development,” read a Press statement issued after the leaders’meeting.
Opposition MDC Alliance vicepresident Tendai Biti said: “The reported deployment of Zimbabwe troops in Mozambique represents further reproduction of illegalities and ill-throughout actions by the regime. Assuming there is an urgent military situation in Cabo Delgado, surely the region collectively must act. A meeting of Sadc must be held.”
In the late 1990s, the Zanu PF government came under fire after then President Robert Mugabe deployed troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to defend Laurent Kabila’s government without Parliament’s approval.
“History has shown that Zimbabwe’s participation in the DRC war was not based on pan-Africanist solidarity, but greed and avarice.
“United Nations reports expose massive looting of diamonds and bauxite that took place under cover of war, regrettably the same characters are now in Mozambique,” Biti said. News Day