Tsvangirai in his Heroes and Defence Forces day statement on Sunday had said military personnel must be confined to the barracks and stop involving themselves in the politics of the country months after Brigadier General, Douglas Nyikayaramba openly said he supports Mugabe’s Zanu (PF).
Nyikayaramba also said Tsvangirai was a ‘threat’ to national security.
Addressing hundreds of Zanu (PF) supporters, ordinary citizens and military personnel at the national Heroes Acre in Harare Mugabe ruled out security sector reforms.
Security sector is mentioned as one of the outstanding issues that the unity government has failed to resolve in the last two years in the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
“Here we are, with some people who want to interfere with their structures, wanting to sort them out in order for them to have an appeal to the structure that they prepare. We have said no, no interference with our security forces, definitely no,” Mugabe said.
“They (security forces) have stood by the people; have remained in service of the people, guaranteeing our security and peace”.
Tsvangirai on Sunday said as leaders they have “no reason to be fighting our national institutions if they are performing their national duty. But we naturally take umbrage at the militarisation of our politics and the politicisation of the military. Zimbabweans want protection from their defence forces.”
“The past few years have seen the deployment of some members of the army into the villages to brutalise and attack innocent civilians on the basis of their political affiliation.”
He added, “It is international best practice that the army should confine itself to the barracks and leave politics to politicians.”