THE Zimbabwe National Army has embarked on a witch-hunt to fish out military officers suspected of recording Zimbabwe Presidential Guard commander Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe ordering soldiers under his command to be ready to abandon professionalism to tackle former vice-president Joice Mujuru who is on the verge of forming a new political party under the People First banner.
The soldiers, who are against being used by their bosses to advance partisan political agendas, exclusively leaked the recording to Zimbabwe Independent last month.
Sources in the military said this week Sanyatwe was angered by both the recording and leaking of his address resulting in him ordering an investigation.
Senior military officials said the witch-hunt has the blessing of senior army commanders who believe such leaks should be nipped in the bud. They are fearful that military personnel can record addresses by their bosses before leaking them to hostile forces, thereby compromising the country’s security.
Some commanders, however, are against Sanyatwe’s political statements and say he should be disciplined although they support the witch hunt on security grounds.
Sanyatwe was recorded while addressing about 500 men and women under his command at 2 Presidential Guard base in Dzivaresekwa on September 2.
He chanted Zanu PF slogans and denounced Mujuru during the address.
Intelligence teams have been trying to sniff out information from soldiers at the base. “He has teams everywhere, including public spots like night clubs and hotels where he expects to find leads to the person or persons who could have leaked the story,” the source said.
He wants the culprits to be court marshalled.
An under pressure Sanyatwe recently denied chanting slogans and threatening Mujuru and her allies but was left with egg on the face after Zimbabwe Independent, which broke the story, produced an audio recording of his controversial address.
Sanyatwe’s remarks attracted criticism from opposition parties, particularly Mujuru’s supporters who called for disciplinary action to be taken against him arguing his statements were unconstitutional.
Section 208(2) of the constitution, which outlines the expected conduct of members of the security services, stipulates that it is illegal for the security sector to be partisan and to further the interest of a political party.