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Mixed opposition reaction to Chiwenga statement

14/11/2017 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
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- 30 top Generals at Chiwenga’s side

OPPOSITION political parties have questioned Zimbabwe Defence Forces chief General Constantino Chiwenga’s motives in demanding an end to Zanu PF purges which have seen ex-vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa escape into exile.

Mnangagwa was fired by President Robert Mugabe for allegedly trying to remove the veteran leader from power.

General Chiwenga then called a press conference in Harare Monday where said expulsions of liberation war veterans from the ruling party must stop, threatening a military intervention if the purges continue.

He also demanded the removal from Zanu PF of what he described as counter-revolutionary elements in remarks seen as targeted at cabinet ministers Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere who hounded Mnangagwa out of government and Zanu PF.

Kasukuwere and Moyo belong to the G40 Zanu PF faction which has the support of President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace and now wants Mnangagwa’s allies, among them ministers and senior party officials, similarly fired.

However, opposition parties said Chiwenga and his security services top brass were complicit in allowing in allowing the biblical “Delilah (Grace Mugabe) to capture their Samson (Robert Mugabe)”.

“And, having lost his dreadlocks, he (Mugabe) is about to bring the house down on everyone in it,” said People’s Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman Jacob Mafume.

“They need to realise that a 94-year-old Mugabe and an ambitious wife Grace represent a threat to the existence of Zimbabwe as a singular and unitary state.”

Mafume added, “He has been captured by the modern-day Rasputin and they have their claws in him.”

“The very existence of the nation is under threat, not from anywhere, but from Zanu PF; they need to learn to protect the constitution and not a person.”

MDC national spokesperson Kuraoune Chihwayi said General Chiwenga is toothless bulldog and no threat to President Mugabe and his wife.

“He is spineless to stop Grace from insulting former freedom fighters,” said Chihwayi.

“The Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander is too partisan to continue serving everybody and, equally, Zanu PF is dead; there is nothing for army Generals to defend in the ruling party.”

He added, “Gen Chiwenga is expected to serve the country not Zanu PF; he is expected to exhibit a very high degree of professionalism and avoid acting as the ruling party’s political commissar.


“We are dealing with a toothless and partisan general with known interests in Zanu PF. He does not seem to have the capacity to stop the succession race.

“Any attempt to publicly challenge Mugabe and his wife will see him following expelled former VP Mngangwa.”

However, Transform Zimbabwe (TZ) secretary for information Sungai Mazango welcomed Chiwenga’s intervention.

“It’s encouraging to note that an instrument of the state which for so long has been captured is now beginning to speak with some level of independence and thinly veiled defiance to status quo,” he said.

“It gives hope that, maybe, Uhuru (freedom) might be nearer than before.

“I will however, hasten to say that, as Transform Zimbabwe, we value peace more than anything and, as such, would not condone any degeneration into strife, no matter who the instigator is.” 

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