Former Cabinet Minister Eric Matinenga has criticised military officials for meddling in the country’s civilian affairs. He accused the army officials of thwarting any changes out of fear and greed. Matinenga, who was once the Constitutional Affairs Minister also said the military officials are blatantly violating the Constitution with blessing of Zanu-PF, as the party and the Defence Minister were not doing anything to call the errant officials to order.
Speaking during a panel discussion at a two-day conference organised by Sapes Trust, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, National Endowment for Democracy and the UK-based Catham House, Matinenga said:
I ask myself this question, why. I think there are three reasons, one is greed, the second one is selfishness, the third one is fear. You don’t have to address them in that order.
But if you look at why we have not actualised our constitution, you can, I think, be able to put any of these adjectives to the reasons why we have not actualised our constitution.
The constitution clearly says what must be done or not be done or not be done by a member of the army,
But what do we see every day in the papers? We see senior members of the army telling us exactly how we should conduct ourselves; telling us who should not be doing what and who should be doing what.
We have not seen the Minister of Defence bringing to book that particular person but the constitution makes that provision.
Last Week Commander Defence Forces General Constantino Chiwenga threatened Professor Jonathan Moyo with unspecified action after labelling him an enemy of the state for criticising Command Agriculture.
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Eric Matinenga is a Zimbabwean human rights lawyer cum-politician who successfully defended Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai during his treason trial in 2005. Read More About Eric Matinenga
Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga is the current Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the second secretary of Zanu-PF political party and the former Minister of Defence . He is also the former Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) and also the former member... Read More About Constantino Chiwenga
The Targeted Command Agriculture is a Zimbabwean agricultural scheme aimed at ensuring food self-sufficiency that was introduced at the start of the 2016 - 2017 farming season following the drought of the previous season. The scheme was introduced as Zimbabwe struggled with economic problems. It... Read More About Command Agriculture