Top Army Officer Says Soldiers Support Zanu (PF)
“As soldiers, we will never be apologetic for supporting Zanu (PF) because it is the only political party that has national interests at heart,” Chedondo said.
“We cannot be seen supporting a political party that is going against the ideals of a nation, which came by as a result of a liberation struggle, which saw many of the country’s sons and daughters losing their lives. As soldiers we must support ideologies that we subscribe to, I for one will not be apologetic for supporting Zanu (PF) because I was part of the liberation struggle.”
Chedondo’s statements comes months after Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba stirred a storm when he said he supported the former ruling party because MDC were sell outs.
Nyikayaramba, who said the statements when he was a brigadier, has since been promoted to the post of Major General.
Political statements by senior army officials are not new to Zimbabwe. The late army General Vitalis Zvinavashe, Prisons chief retired Major General Paradzai Zimondi and Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri said they will not salute a democratically elected leader who is not Mugabe.
The involvement of the army in politics has seen the MDC legislator for Mbizo, Settlement Chikwinya, moving a motion in parliament asking legislators to treat the statements made by the service chiefs as treason.
The MDC has said over 200 of its supporters were killed during the 2008 presidential run-off while others disappeared.
Meanwhile the MDC on Wednesday renewed its call for the sacking of Chihuri.
This follows the arrest of an MDC official, Ambitious Muzuva and two activists on allegations of assaulting a Zanu (PF) member and a police officer in Kambuzuma over the weekend.
“It continues to baffle the minds of Zimbabweans as they day in and day out witness the arrest of innocent MDC activists yet known Zanu (PF) terror gangs continue to walk scot free,” read part of the MDC-T statement to the media.
“The MDC calls upon the Inclusive Government to constitute the Police Service Commission so that the acting commissioner, Augustine Chihuri is retired and a competent Police Commissioner General appointed,” it said.
“Zimbabweans are tired of violence. The police should not provoke the nation into action. The people have remained calm over the years …The MDC calls for professional policing,” it added.
The party said its supporter, Shepherd Mumba, was on Saturday assaulted by known Zanu (PF) hoodlums, Jim Kunaka, Gochera, Pasco, Gomwe and Moffart in Highfield but police took no action.
Twenty-nine MDC activists are in police custody, some for almost a year, facing fabricated charges of murdering a Glen View policeman in May 2011.