via Opposition parties warn Mutsvangwa – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 22, 2015
Opposition parties have warned War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa to stop inciting anarchy and disobedience within the military establishment by saying there will be a bloodbath if the opposition tried to implement security sector reforms.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Addressing a public lecture on the late former Mozambican President Samora Machel in Harare this week, Mutsvangwa said security sector reforms will never be “countenanced” and would be resisted with war and bloodshed.
The MDC-T said Mutsvangwa did not understand what the opposition parties meant by demanding security sector realignment.
“With due respect to my brother, Chris, I believe he is mistaken and speaking from a point of ignorance. His utterances are just, but an attempt to cause mischief within the military establishment as some people will view our calls as a threat to their existence,” MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said yesterday.
“We want a professional military establishment that does not dabble in civilian politics and that is what we want.”
He said the MDC-T was not calling for a change in the military establishment, as the opposition appreciated the importance of a stable security system.
“What we will not allow are partisan security chiefs, who want to dabble in politics like what this Commander of the Zimbabwe Presidential Guard Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe is trying to do,” Gutu said.
“The army should not involve itself in civil rule. Their duty is to defend the country and its people and not mind who is ruling. The people have a final say on who governs this State.”
Mutsvangwa told the audience at the lecture at the Quill Club in Harare that any attempts to “reform” the country’s security institutions would result in bloodshed.
“There will be blood if people try and play around with the security services. That is a no-go area and do not even try it as they tried to do in 2002,” he said.
The army, air force, intelligence and police, whose top ranks are massed by veterans of the liberation struggle, have for long been accused of dabbling in partisan politics and using violence to prop President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.
Opposition parties have persistently called for reform of the security services, arguing that they have been contaminated by ruling Zanu PF politics.
People’s Democratic Party spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said Mutsvangwa was fooling himself, as reforms were inevitable and such statements would only derail the process, but not stop it.
“It is expected for Mutsvangwa to say such words because he is definitely like many in Zanu PF, who use their bellies to think and bury their minds in sand. Such statements have a net effect of stoking flames, but what is unknown to some is that reform in Zimbabwe will definitively come, with the military establishment once again, being professional,” he said.
Former Zanu PF stalwarts, who are now fronting the yet-to-be-launched People First party, likely to be led by ex-Vice-President Joice Mujuru, have also voiced their anger at the conduct of some security chiefs, who utter political statements saying it was unprofessional on their part.