ZIMBABWE: POLITICS/THE HERALD/23/5/18 SABANews 1
HARARE – Deputy Finance Minister TERRENCE MUKUPE of ZIMBABWE has provoked widespread criticism after declaring soldiers will prevent the opposition from ruling even if it wins elections.
THE HERALD says the government has described as unlawful and reckless his statements saying the military will not allow opposition politicians to govern.
It quotes Acting Information Minister SIMON KHAYA MOYO as saying the utterances openly oppose the pledge by President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA to uphold the will of the people of ZIMBABWE.
Deputy Minister MUKUPE reportedly told ruling ZANU PF supporters in MANDARA low-density suburbs of HARARE soldiers snatched the country from ROBERT MUGABE, not to surrender it to MDC T Leader NELSON CHAMISA.
Mr CHAMISA heads the most powerful opposition group in the SADC country, having taken over after the death of founding Party President MORGAN TSVANGIRAI this FEBRUARY.
Media reports say Deputy Minister MUKUPE admitted he also wanted to be Head of State, with sirens surrounding his motorcade all the way; but he is not mature enough to run the country, with all the soldiers in the country saluting him as the commander-in-chief.
However, Minister KHAYA MOYO says such words raise doubts about the commitment of the State to free, fair, and non-violent elections, as well as to readiness to respect and uphold the will of the people.
He says campaigning candidates should stop dragging members of the security forces into their political activities.
Other media reports quote MDC ALLIANCE Spokesperson WELSHMAN NCUBE as saying the statements by Deputy Minister MUKUPE ahead of polls are extremely worrying.
He has recalled a declaration by the military under the leadership of late former Commander VITALIS ZVINAVASHE saying the presidency was only for people who fought in the liberation struggle.
The NEWSDAY quotes Mr NCUBE as saying such words from a civilian beneficiary of military rule are most unfortunate and should be withdrawn with immediate effect.
ZIMBABWE is holding general elections this JULY or early AUGUST for the FIRST time with MUGABE, who ruled with an iron fist since the SADC country achieved political independence in 1980./Sabanews/cam