Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander Constantino Chiwenga issued a press statement on Monday warning Zanu-PF to stop purging heroes of the Second Chimurenga liberation war or the military may be forced to step in. This comes after President Robert Mugabe dismissed Emmerson Mnangagwa from his post as Vice President and his post in Zanu-PF.
Despite Chiwenga quoting section Section 212 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which states that the core business of the defence forces is to uphold the Constitution among other responsibilities, he is not upholding the Constitution but is violating Section 288 of the Constitution which states that:
Neither the security services nor any of their members may, in the exercise of their functions; act in a partisan manner; further the interests of any political party or cause; prejudice the lawful interests of any political party or cause; or violate the fundamental rights or freedoms of any person.
Chiwenga’s argument is that Zanu-PF’s factional wars are a national security issue and gives examples of Somalia and Central Africa where he says party politics resulted in civil war. Says Chiwenga:
While our people may be persuaded to take what is going on in Zanu-PF as internal political matters in that Party, the truth remains that Zanu-PF’s conduct and behaviour as a ruling Party has a direct impact on the lives of every citizen; hence all of us regardless of political affiliation are affected by the Party’s manner of doing business. from a security point of view we cannot ignore the experiences of countries such as Somalia, DRC, Central Africa Republic and many others in our region where minor political differences degenerated into serious conflict that has decimated the social, political and economic security of ordinary people.
Well Chiwenga is wrong about Central Africa Republic. The civil war in Central Africa Republic was a result of the military meddling in politics. Perhaps Chiwenga should be reminded of President Mugabe’s statement that politics leads the gun. What is happening in Zanu-PF was a Zanu-PF issue but has now become a national security issue now that Chiwenga has stepped in.