Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
THE Government has dismissed as “unlawful and reckless” statements by Finance and Economic Development Deputy Minister Terrence Mukupe that the military will not accept an opposition victory in the forthcoming harmonised elections.
Acting Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Simon Khaya Moyo said Cde Mukupe’s statements “flagrantly” ran against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s pledge to uphold the will of the people of Zimbabwe.
Cde Mukupe was quoted in the private media as having told a Zanu-PF cell meeting in Mandara, Harare, on Monday:
“How can we say, honestly, the soldiers took the country, practically snatched it from Mugabe, to come and hand it over to Chamisa?
“Look at me, I also want to be a president, there is no one who does not want to sit in the (Mercedes) Benz while sirens are sounding all the way, but everything has its time. I don’t think that I am mature enough to be given the country to run and all the soldiers in this country salute me saying ‘the commander-in-chief is here,” he was quoted saying.
However, Cde Khaya Moyo, also speaking on behalf of the ruling party Zanu-PF, said the reported claims amount to direct contempt of President Mnangagwa who is the sole Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
“Read against our own environment and the impending polls, such pronouncements have the negative effect of raising doubts on Government’s commitment to a free, fair and non-violent plebiscite as well as to its readiness to respect and uphold the will of the people of Zimbabwe as expressed through their electoral choices and decisions,” he said.
Cde Khaya Moyo said if the sentiments attributed to Mr Mukupe are true, they are ‘both reckless and most unfortunate, as they do not represent the official position and attitude of the party, Government and the Defence Establishment.’
“This is untrue, and flagrantly runs against what his Excellency the President ED Mnangagwa has pledged and is determined to deliver both to the people of Zimbabwe and to the international community,” he said.
Cde Khaya Moyo said campaigning candidates should desist from dragging members of the security establishment into their political activities.
“Without regard to political party or affiliation, all campaigning candidates should respect the Defence Establishment and its Command Structure by avoiding embroiling our Uniformed Forces into partisan party politics and activities. The roles of the Uniformed Forces which are national and non-partisan are clearly spelt out in the laws of our country,” he said.
Cde Khaya Moyo said President Mnangagwa recently warned against undermining the constitutional position of the Security Establishment through involving or dragging members of the uniformed forces into the country’s party electoral politics and or activities.
“Through his directive, he unambiguously restated an iron –clad rule which ranks high among the pillars of our Constitution and which finds validation in the various Acts governing operations of various arms of the National Security Establishment,” he said
Cde Khaya Moyo said any pronouncements which have the effect of undermining the supreme law of the land and the authority of the Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces or suggesting that the well respected Security Organs will act in a partisan manner in relation to the country’s politics apart from being unauthorised, are unlawful reckless, improper, uncalled for and thus totally condemnable.
He added: “Besides, they imperil national peace and stability and amount to a frontal challenge to the tenets and practices of democracy as understood and practiced world-wide”.
This is not the first time that Mr Mukupe has been caught offside, in January; he was quoted saying that the Government was mulling phasing out bond notes, claims which were promptly dismissed by Finance and Economic Development Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa.