By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration against treating the Zimbabwe National Army as an ‘extension of Zanu PF’.
Chamisa was responding to remarks made by Zanu PF acting national political commissar, Patrick Chinamasa last week that the party would continue to work with the military because “they were inseparable.”
“Always be mindful that there is this unbreakable continuity between the liberation struggle and Zanu PF… between the armies of liberation ZIPRA and ZANLA, and the national army of independence. Thus, any notion which seeks to break this bond should be rejected outrightly,” Chinamasa said.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, on Sunday, Chamisa said the military was not an arm of any political party whether that political party was in government.
“The military is not an extension of a political party the world over. It is condescending, patronising and unconstitutional to claim the sole and partisan proprietorship of national institutions like the military, police or the intelligence services,” Chamisa said.
“Political parties and leaders come and go but national institutions like the army stay forever. As such, the military is not an arm, organ or wing of any political party whether that political party is in or out of government,” he said, adding the army belongs to the people as an expression of national sovereignty defence and people security,” he said.
Chamisa added that the national army was a people’s army and citizens have a duty to “correct delinquent characters whose misconceived and misbegotten view seeks to reduce a people’s military into a militia of a political party.”
“Those utterances are not only a source of national instability and threat to national security but also earn the country a banana republic and pariah status.”
Observers have since argued that the military and security service chiefs command huge interests in political and business affairs in Zimbabwe, which they are keen to protect and consolidate.
Some also view Mnangagwa, as a product of the army following his rise to power in 2017 after a military coup that ousted the late former president Robert Mugabe.
After the coup, Mnangagwa went on to give former army commander Constantino Chiwenga the position of Vice-President, and the late retired major general Sibusiso Moyo, the man who announced the military takeover on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) on the morning of November 15, got the key position of minister of foreign affairs. Nehanda Radio