Back off: Mujuru tells army

via Back off: Mujuru tells army – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 12, 2015

FORMER Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s People First (PF) political movement has warned army officers and securocrats to stay clear of civilian political processes and making inflammatory statements that could trigger civil unrest.

By Everson Mushava

In a statement yesterday, Mujuru, through PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo said recent threats made against her by Commander of the Zimbabwe Presidential Guard Brigadier General Anselem Sanyatwe should not go unchallenged, as they grossly violated provisions of the Constitution.

Sanyatwe was quoted in our sister paper, the Zimbabwe Independent two weeks ago threatening to unleash the army to annihilate Mujuru and her yet to be launched party.

“We were shocked to learn that such a senior officer in the army could publicly call for the annihilation of former Vice-President Joice Mujuru and her supporters just because of their legitimate political activities in search of a lasting solution to the challenges facing the country,” Gumbo said.

“The statement, allegedly made by Brig Gen Sanyatwe, blatantly contravenes sections 208, 211 and 218 of the national Constitution, which define the security service including the Defence Forces.”

Sanyatwe’s threats came at a time Mujuru and main opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai were reportedly plotting to combine forces ahead of the 2018 elections.

According to section 211, “the Defence Forces must respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons and be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional and subordinate to civilians as established in the Constitution”.

Section 208 also prohibits serving security personnel from conducting themselves in a partisan manner.

Opposition parties and civic society have always accused the military of propping up Zanu PF using illegal means.

In 2008, the army was accused of leading a violent campaign on behalf of Zanu PF that left over 300 opposition activists dead and thousands internally displaced.

“We are surprised that our leader, Mujuru, was a target of Sanyatwe’s reckless and unconstitutional threats when she has not made any statement that could be regarded as subversive or that could be construed as posing any threat to national security, which Sanyatwe purports to be safe-guarding through his reported statement,” Gumbo said.

“It comes to us as a serious concern that the army is delving into succession politics in the country when, in our view, succession is decided by people during elections.

“What is now more worrying is the involvement of the army in partisan campaigns for one political party. We believe it is necessary that political parties of any persuasion should be allowed to exercise their legitimate right to be voted for by the people of Zimbabwe even if it results in the replacement of the incumbent president.”

Gumbo said Sanyatwe’s utterances can cause animosity between members of political parties and the army and have a potential of causing civil unrest.

He said undermining civilian political rights has grave consequences, as had been seen in other countries.

“We are also saddened to realise that some of these army commanders tend to forget they will retire, at some point, and that there is a future where they will lead civilian lives in which they are supposed to enjoy the same civil and political liberties that they are unconstitutionally undermining today.”

Mujuru is yet to officially launch her PF party, although she has already unveiled the party’s policy document.

The political movement comprises of former Zanu PF officials axed from the ruling party on allegations of plotting to oust President Robert Mugabe.

A number of senior army officials have in the past pronounced their support for Mugabe and vowed not to salute anyone without liberation war credentials.


  • comment-avatar
    Adam Jones 7 years ago

    Now that the boot is on the other foot – ‘mavara angu azarevhu’, says dindingwe. Yet when Mujuru and Gumbo were in ZANU, the same generals would utter same and they would clap and ululated. Yes vaGumbo, there is life outside ZANU and after military service. Mazviona ka?

  • comment-avatar
    Open Eye 7 years ago

    Well said Adam. There is nothing new about statements of this nature. Even Gumbo and Mujuru have heard these statements before but they were directed at the opposition so they said nothing about it. Its only logical to say that they were on the giving end. Now that they are on the receiving end, they cry foul. Welcome to the world of opposition politics, if at all you are in the opposition. I say so because I don’t trust politicians AT ALL.

  • comment-avatar
    Godome Dhingaga 7 years ago

    Mujuru and Gumbo should face trial – they were there as part of the establishment that sysyetmatically abused Zimbabweans for many years. Justice

  • comment-avatar

    So.. Teurai Ropa (Spill Blood) gets a taste of her own medicine. What goes around comes around. Let’s not forget that despite their wealth ( The Mujurus), she even claimed or benefited from the war victims compensation fund claiming on non existant injuries. How on earth do these type of people believe that they can represent the people of Zim. She should be hanging her head in shame and digging her grave!