SECURITY chiefs, under the banner of the Joint Operations Command (Joc), which brings together army, police and intelligence chiefs, are making preparations to dispatch senior officers to the country’s 10 provinces to spearhead Zanu PF election campaigns, the Zimbabwe Independent can reveal.
Report by Elias Mambo
Army insiders said Joc commanders have been meeting at the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA)’s KG VI headquarters for a number of months to strategise to ensure a Zanu PF win in the forthcoming elections.
Highly placed sources said retired Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena, who is running the Zanu PF commissariat department with former CIO director internal Sydney Nyanhongo, are working with Joc members to ensure a Zanu PF victory.
Under the plan Major-General Engelbrecht Rugeje will be deployed in Masvingo while Brigadier-General David Sigauke will be in Mashonaland West and Major-General Douglas Nyikayaramba will replace Brigadier-General Charles Tarumbwa, who manned Manicaland in the 2008 disputed elections.
Retired Major-General Victor Rungani will co-ordinate campaigns in Mashonaland East, while Vice Air-Marshal Titus Abu Basutu will be deployed in Matabeleland South with Brigadier-General Sibusiso Moyo in Midlands.
Brigadier-General Sibangumuzi Khumalo will campaign in Matabeleland North whereas Colonel Chris Sibanda will be in Bulawayo and Retired Air Commodore Michael Karakadzai will cover Harare.
Brigadier-General Etherton Shungu will be in charge of Mashonaland Central province.
“This is not something new because after the 2008 disputed presidential elections, 200 senior army members were deployed and spearheaded a campaign which forced Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to pull out of the presidential run-off,” said the source.
Director of public relations in the ZNA Lieutenant-Colonel Alphios Makotore confirmed receiving the Independent’s inquiries on the deployments last week and promised to respond appropriately.
“We received your questions and we are still working on them. We are going to respond to them,” Makotore said.
Zanu PF has been militarising its structures since the party lost the 2008 elections and some reports claim it has “replaced its defunct district coordinating committees with the military which is co-ordinating the grassroots structures”.
Security service chiefs have openly declared their political loyalty to President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.