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Chinamasa loses plot on generals

“The army people were liberators and you cannot deny them the voice to keep this country on course, so that there is justification for those who died for the country and those who lie in unmarked graves,” he said.

“Their colleagues died so that we could control our own resources,” he said.” They died for political independence and sovereignty of the country, so anything that is going to diminish what they fought for, the army should have a voice and unashamedly so.”

Chinamasa tries to give the impression that only securocrats bore the brunt of the liberation struggle when we all paid a price to ensure Zimbabwe becomes a reality. No one can be more Zimbabwean than another person and these statements would have been comical if they were not so tragic.

Chinamasa’s vain attempt to defend the indefensible should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.

If I were a judge I would dismiss his claim with costs since those utterances are not only retrogressive but also unhelpful. Chinamasa was defending the brazen remarks made by Zimbabwe Defence Forces Chief of Staff Major-General Martin Chedondo that the military must interfere in politics and support Zanu PF, while branding other political parties as agents of imperialism.

Chedondo also said soldiers should be involved in partisan politics as they were a “political animal” and part of the game.

“As soldiers, we will never be apologetic for supporting Zanu PF because it is the only political party that has national interests at heart,” he said.

Major-General Nyikayaramba also caused a stir last year, vowing never to salute Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai should he win presidential elections.

If we are to take Chinamasa’s remarks seriously, there would be no need for the holding of elections since the securocrats would just “point the way” in choosing our leaders. What then is the point of the constitution-making process if some people can apportion themselves the prerogative to determine the future of this country? Shockingly enough the Justice minister has taken it upon himself to be the defender of an unconstitutional posture with a straight face.

One of the main reasons why Zimbabweans went to war against a tyrannical minority regime was to rid ourselves of a government which denied us the power of our vote. “One man, one vote” was one of the slogans chanted in the fight for universal suffrage.

Thirty two years later and facing a hostile electorate, Zanu PF is now trying to railroad itself back to power through intimidation. We will not stand for that!

Regis Bako,

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