Plea for military to accept election outcome in Zimbabwe

18 January 2018 - 15:54 By James Thompson In Harare
Commander of Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Costantino Chiwenga (C) addresses the media with other security chiefs in Harare, Zimbabwe November 20, 2017. In 2002‚ then army general Vitalis Zvinavashe said the military would in no terms salute Morgan Tsvangirai.
Commander of Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Costantino Chiwenga (C) addresses the media with other security chiefs in Harare, Zimbabwe November 20, 2017. In 2002‚ then army general Vitalis Zvinavashe said the military would in no terms salute Morgan Tsvangirai.
Image: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

The call comes at a time when President Emmerson Mnangagwa‚ whose ascendance to power is credited to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)‚ told Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi in Maputo on Wednesday that elections would be held in about five months’ time and be peaceful.

However‚ the MDCT is worried about developments at home with allegations that military personnel in civilian clothing have been deployed to rural areas‚ home to 65% of the population in Zimbabwe.

"We have solid and incontrovertible evidence pointing to the fact that thousands of army officers in civilian attire have been deployed into the countryside for the purpose of carrying out clandestine political campaigns on behalf of Zanu PF‚" the party said.

The party also made an open plea that international election observers such as the United Nations be allowed into the country.

"The military should accept the outcome of free and fair elections regardless of whoever is going to win‚" the party said.

In 2002‚ then army general Vitalis Zvinavashe said the military would in no terms salute Morgan Tsvangirai.

Community newspaper Masvingo Mirror‚ from the south- eastern part of the country‚ reported last week that Zanu PF national political commissar‚ Rt Lt General Engelbert Rugeje‚ told a gathering in the province that he expected a Zanu PF clean sweep or else there could be a repeat of 2008 political violence after Robert Mugabe lost to Morgan Tsvangirai who fell short of the required majority.

In 2008 Morgan Tsvangarai fled to Botswana in fear of his life only to return when the SADC facilitated a Government of National Unity (GNU) where he became Prime Minister until July 2013.


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