The ruling ZANU PF party said it would continue relying on the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) for political survival because the two are tied together by the liberation struggle.
The party’s Acting Political Commissar Patrick Chinamasa told journalists at a Press conference in Harare on Thursday that there was an unbreakable continuity between the ruling party and its military wings during the liberation struggle.
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The Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) and the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) Chinamasa said, remain at the heart of the ZNA.
Chinamasa, who was flanked by former Zanu PF political commissars Victor Matemadanda, Webster Shamu and Engelbert Rugeje, said:
Always be mindful that there is this unbreakable continuity between the liberation struggle and ZANU PF, between the armies of liberation ZIPRA and ZANLA and the national army of independence.
Any notion which seeks to break this bond should be rejected outright.
Chinamasa, who is also ZANU PF Secretary for Finance, said that the composition of the ZNA leadership also told a story of the link between the ruling party and the military. He said:
It speaks for itself who are the commanders of the army, who is the CDF [Commander Defence Forces], Cde Valerio Sibanda. Who was he? He was a leading general in ZIPRA.
Who is the commander of the national army, Cde Edzayi Chimonyo? Who was he? He was a leading commander in ZANLA.
That culture of defending the sovereignty of this country will continue.
The military played a major role in denying the late former MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai victory in the 2008 presidential election runoff which forced him to pull out of the race as thousands of his supporters were forced to flee from their homes.
In November 2017, the military settled internal power struggles in ZANU PF by leading a coup which led to the ouster of the long-time ruler, the late former President Robert Mugabe.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa was installed in Mugabe’s place.