New lease of life for generals

via New lease of life for generals – NewsDay Zimbabwe 6 September 2014 by Everson Mushava

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has given a new lease of life to military generals, many of whom were nearing the retirement age of 60.

Mugabe, through Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, yesterday reviewed upwards the retirement age for defence forces generals and other serving war veterans from 60 years to 65 years.

According to Statutory Instruments 134 and 135 of 2014 published yesterday, the new regulations by the Defence Forces Service Commission now allow officers who either are war veterans or have served continuously to retire at the age of 65.

With the new rules, generals who were nearing the retirement age of the previously gazetted 60 years have been given a fresh lease of life in the service.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander General Constantine Chiwenga, Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air

Marshal Perrance Shiri and Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Commander Lieutenant-General Phillip Valerio Sibanda are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of the new regulations.

According to Google Search, Chiwenga is 58 and Shiri is 59. NewsDay could not establish Sibanda’s age.

“Provided that a member who is a war veteran as defined in the War Veterans Act (Chapter 11:15) (No 11 of 1992) shall continue to serve for further periods, not exceeding twelve months at a time, until he or she retains the age of sixty-five years,” the new regulations read. “A member who has continued to serve in terms of subsection (5) shall retire on attaining the age of sixty-five years.”

During the inclusive government, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s party repeatedly called for the retiring of service chiefs, claiming they were partisan in support of Mugabe’s regime, but the veteran leader scoffed at the demands. Tsvangirai’s party has always accused Zanu PF of State-sponsored violence. Before the 2008 presidential run-off, he claimed over 300 of his supporters were killed or maimed by Zanu PF supporters with the aid of security agents.

In February last year when Tsvangirai was still the Prime Minister in the shaky coalition government with Zanu PF, Mugabe unilaterally extended the contracts of the service chiefs, including Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and Prisons Services boss Paradzai Zimondi without consulting his coalition partner.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said the new regulations were a deliberate attempt by Zanu PF to keep the uniformed forces top brass in service where they could be kept highly politicised.

“Professionally, it shouldn’t matter if one is a war veteran,” Mwonzora said. “The move is meant to keep the generals at the higher echelons of power. We are likely to see the same changes by the Police Service Commission to keep Generals Chihuri and Zimondi in power. Giving them longer service is a way of maintaining their loyalty. In fact, the move is targeting to keep Chiwenga, Shiri and Sibanda.”

Mwonzora said the new regulations were likely to impede security sector reforms.

Serving and retired officers from Zimbabwe’s military, police and intelligence have reportedly over the years tightened their stranglehold on Mugabe and Zanu PF. Some of them were deployed in key parastatals including and Zanu PF’s influential political commissariat department, key in formulating strategies for elections.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 8
  • comment-avatar
    Roving Eagle 8 years ago

    Reason zpf needs to be obliterated by force so war vet can refer to mean veterans who liberated Zimbabwe from mugarbage tyrant and his useless cohorts.

  • comment-avatar
    James Kwavanhu 8 years ago

    Death and economy will solve this. Just wait for time

  • comment-avatar

    Whore vets of all ” ranks ” are merely living on borrowed time and are doomed. Pamberi mob justice

  • comment-avatar
    Tsuro 8 years ago

    I also suppose Mudede will be 80 when he will be organising the 2018 elections. They call it Zanu….but wait this time the economy will make them run to Cape Verde.

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 8 years ago

    “Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander General Constantine Chiwenga, Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri and Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Commander Lieutenant-General Phillip Valerio Sibanda are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of the new regulations.”

    Their predecessors (Sibanda was preceded by Chiwenga); General S. Mujuru, Air Chief Marshall J. Tungamirai and General V. Zvinavashe; independent, forthright thinkers who were not scared to express their opinions, even when they were not in agreement with Mugabe, were retired at ages 44, 43 and 60 respectively. No such favours for them from Mugabe who replaced them with less intimidating figures.

  • comment-avatar
    bruce koffe 8 years ago

    The reason for the extension is clear, the general will continue licking Bob’s shoes, They should pray that he lives on till next election. The Defense Service Act is not in a stone cast, the way Mugabe amended it so will it be unwound again to remove them. How can we have people belonging to the old people’s home serving as cabinet ministers, members of parliament and the military especially in a country with such high unemployment. They should pave way for others to take over. To Mugabe they are young because they are 30 his juniors. So how can they retire when he is still employed.

  • comment-avatar
    roving ambassador. 8 years ago

    The politics of patronage. Oiling the Zanu corruption machine. All this just to keep Mugabe in power till dearth .

  • comment-avatar
    Mike Nyathi 8 years ago

    Demented old men running a demented country.