A call has been made to involve Zimbabwe’s military top brass in national dialogue processes.
Speaking during a dialogue meeting organised by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches in Harare earlier this week, National Patriotic Front spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire claimed that it was a mistake to exclude the military bosses in the 2008 national dialogue. He said:
We made a mistake in 2008 that we allowed political parties to dialogue on their own. We even left out the army.
I believe that what we need now is an inclusive dialogue process that includes the citizenry, that includes civil society and that includes the army because the problem in this country is the army.
The army is the one that moved in and took over Zanu PF…the so-called ‘command element’ of the army moved in and have signed minutes that ‘we are moving in because we have realised that Zanu PF is going to lose the elections. So we are going to take over Zanu PF from Mugabe and those that support him’.
Mawarire said that President Emmerson Mnangagwa was imposed on the ruling party by the military after he had fled into exile following his sacking from the government by Mugabe. He added:
So the army imposed someone (President Emmerson Mnangagwa) who had been chased away from Zanu PF, imposed him as the president and that person then called for an illegitimate election.
I expect (Army Commander) General Valerio Sibanda to be among us here. I expect General Chiwenga in his full military gear, do not be fooled by hearing that he is the VP.
No, he is a soldier, we expect (Foreign Affairs Minister) Sibusiso Moyo to be here in his full military gear and we begin to actually hear their concerns, why they moved to take over Zanu PF, why they moved to take over the government.
The army is alleged to have run the second round of the 2008 elections in which a wave of violence engulfed the entire country.
The MDC leader at the time, Morgan Tsvangirai, eventually pulled out of the race even though he had won the first round.