Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
THE Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) has moved in to weed out of Zanu-PF criminal elements surrounding President Mugabe engaged in activities meant to destabilise the Government.
The move comes following warnings by ZDF Commander General Constatino Chiwenga on Monday that the ongoing purges in Zanu-PF were a result of counter-revolutionary infiltrators who wanted to destroy the ruling party from within.
In a statement aired on national broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Television this morning, ZDF spokesman, Major General Sibusiso Moyo, assured Zimbabweans that the ZDF had not staged a coup and President Mugabe and his family were safe.
Maj Gen Moyo also announced that leave for all members of the defence forces had been cancelled calling on them to immediately report to their respective barracks.
“Fellow Zimbabweans, following the address we made on 13 November 2017 which we believe our main broadcaster, ZBC and The Herald, were directed not to publicise, the situation in our country has moved to another level,” he said.
“Firstly, we wish to assure the nation that His Excellency, The President, of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde R.G Mugabe and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed. We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice. As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”
Maj Gen Moyo said the army was against plans by the said criminal elements to influence the extension of purges going on in Zanu-PF to the civil service.
“We are against that act of injustice and we intend to protect everyone of you against it,” he said.
“To the judiciary, the measures underway are intended to ensure that, as an independent arm of the State, you are able to exercise your independent authority without fear of being obstructed as has been the case with this group of individuals.
“To our Members of Parliament: Your legislative role is of paramount importance for peace and stability in this country and it is our desire that a dispensation is created that allows you to serve your respective political constituencies according to democratic tenets.”
Maj Gen Moyo called on Zimbabweans to remain calm and limit unnecessary movements but encouraged those who are employed or running essential business in the city centres to continue with their usual activities.
“Our wish is that you enjoy your rights and freedoms and that we return our country to a dispensation that allows for investment, development and prosperity that we all fought for and for which many of our citizens paid the supreme sacrifice,” he said.
“To political parties; we urge you to discourage your members from engaging in violent behaviour”.
Maj Gen Moyo warned the country’s youth against being enticed “with dirty coins of silver” and remain committed to the values and ethos of the nation as they are owners of the country’s future.
He called on churches and religious organisations to pray for the country and preach the gospel of love, peace, unity and development.
“To both our people and the world beyond our borders: We wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of Government. What the Zimbabwe Defence Forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may result in violent conflict,” said Maj Gen Moyo.
“We call upon all the war veterans to play a positive role in ensuring peace, stability and unity in the country.”
Maj Gen Moyo also called on traditional leaders, “as the custodians of our culture, customs, traditions and heritage” to provide leadership and direction to their communities for the sake of unity and development in the country.
“To the other Security Services: We urge you to cooperate for the good of our country. Let it be clear that we intend to address the human security threats in our country. Therefore any provocation will be met with an appropriate response. To the media; we urge you report fairly and responsibly.”