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Defence Minister summoned to Parliament over shadowy FAZ group

Defense Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has been summoned to Parliament to explain why a Zanu-PF linked shadowy group, Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (FAZ) is meddling in the national electoral processes.

FAZ, the organisation that presided over Zanu-PF primary elections which ended in chaos, is being seen working alongside the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in the ongoing voters roll inspection process.

Speaking in Parliament, Harare East legislator Tendai Biti postulated that FAZ was not a Constitutional body and questioned why the organisation was interfering with the electoral process.

“I thank you for allowing me to raise a point of national interest. Madam Speaker, in terms of Chapter 11 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, our Constitution recognises our security forces and security agents, which consist of the military, police, prisons and correctional service and intelligence.

“We respect these institutions and we are proud of these institutions who by virtue of Section of 208 are bound to respect this Parliament as an elected civilian authority.

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“During this current ongoing voters’ roll inspection exercise, we are seeing at polling stations a creature and individuals coming from a creature called FAZ. They are virtually in every polling station.

“We read that they purport to come from the intelligence service but we know the intelligence service and our intelligence authority. What is this creature called FAZ, why is it interfering with our elections?

“I know from the ruling party ZANU-PF that FAZ even interfered in their primary elections. Madam Speaker, if we create parallel structures, it will lead to disaster and military coups.

“May the Minister of Defence come and explain what FAZ is doing in our polling stations when in terms of the law only ZEC officials, political parties and candidates are allowed to be in the polling stations,” the former Finance Minister said.

Accordingly, the Speaker of Parliament ordered the responsible Minister to bring a ministerial statement.

Meanwhile, opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa also questioned the involvement of FAZ in the electoral process after visiting Kuwadzana Constituency to inspect the voters’ roll.

“I have also heard that in the rural areas people are being tormented, persecuted, by Zanu PF structures, and also by a shadowy and spooky organization called FAZ. That is worrisome, we want government to come out in the open, what is this organisation called FAZ.

“What is its role, what are its legal and constitutional rights that this organisation has? We have the CIO, we know it; we have the army, we know the police, and they have constitutional roles to ensure law and order in this country, but this FAZ is an animal, and that is a big problem,” Chamisa said.