Military must reject Zanu PF abuse for 2018 elections – says MDC-T

By: 
Denis Gwenzi

MDC-T national spokesman Obert Gutu

Source: 
Own Correspondent

THE opposition MDC-T party has welcomed the return of the military to the barracks but urged the country’s Generals to reject pressure by the ruling Zanu PF party and stay out of crunch elections due next year.

Soldiers had been on the streets since a military intervention last month which culminated in the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe and his replacement by former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The return to barracks, signalling the end of what many have described as a coup, was confirmed by newly promoted Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda.

MDC-T national spokesman Obert Gutu said his party welcomed the development .

“For a very long time now, the MDC has been calling for the return to their barracks of members of the military who had been deployed on the streets of various cities, towns and growth points,” Gutu said in a statement Monday.

“The MDC believes in the institution of a civilian as opposed to a military government to run all the operations of the State. We call upon the Police force to be professional at all times and not to resort to intimidation, bribe – taking and all other forms of malfeasance.

“Zimbabweans are a peace – loving people who shouldn’t be unnecessarily subjected to unjustified harassment by members of the law enforcement agencies.”

Gutu however, expressed concern over remarks by presidential advisor Chris Mutsvangwa who recently indicated that the military and traditional leaders would help Mnangagwa and Zanu PF campaign for general elections next year.

“Recent utterances by Chris Mutsvangwa to the effect that the Defence Forces and traditional leaders will assist Zanu PF to campaign in the forthcoming elections are most unfortunate and thoroughly misplaced,” said Gutu.

“Members of the security services are bound by the Constitution not to operate as political activists of any political party, including the ruling party.

“The MDC would be very pleased if the responsible authorities within our Defence Forces can categorically dissociate the security services from Mutsvangwa’s rather reckless and ill – thought out remarks.”

He added; “In similar measure, the MDC reiterates our support and recognition of the institution of traditional leadership and we trust that all out traditional leaders shall maintain their constitutional mandate of being custodians of our cultural values and ethos without reducing themselves to becoming political activists.

“Put differently, our traditional leaders should be apolitical ; as is provided for by the supreme law of the land.”

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