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Zimbabwe soldiers backing Chamisa?

by Staff reporter
29 Jul 2018 at 09:47hrs | Views
MDC secretary for defence and security Giles Mutsekwa has claimed his party is enjoying unprecedented support among Zimbabwe's armed forces - a mainstay of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government - amid what he claimed was discontent within the ranks at dwindling salaries and poor economic stewardship.

The former Home Affairs co-minister said the MDC Alliance has harvested huge numbers of voters among youthful officers fretting about how to feed their families on appalling salaries.

Mutsekwa told hundreds of supporters in Nyanga South on Thursday that this was the reason why soldiers were awarded salary increases a few weeks before the crucial election.

The most senior MDC member in Manicaland, Mutsekwa, said his party's win would liberate younger officers from being victimised and denigrated for being sympathetic to the opposition.

Mutsekwa, a retired major, said he was in constant contact with serving security officers, and said there was unprecedented euphoria among the rank-and-file at the prospect of an MDC Alliance electoral victory.

As Zimbabwe prepares to vote on Monday in harmonised elections, which the opposition says have been rigged to consolidate Mnangagwa's grip on power, the role of the security forces will be under scrutiny.

"Our security services have pledged that they will respect what will come out of the elections. Younger members of our forces, who also happen to constitute the majority are excited that if there is a change of government they too will be free.

"The younger soldiers who were not part of the liberation struggle are being accused of being MDC sympathisers but what I tell them is that we are happy for that because they have a home in MDC.

"We don't train soldiers, police officers, CIOs and prison officers as a party and our faith lies in the professionals in the security services whom we are going to inherit when we form the next government after July 30.

"Come Monday, the nation will come together to free you and you should accompany them and protect them as they liberate you," Mutsekwa said.

A trained soldier with various military awards, which include General Service Medal – Bronze Cross of Zimbabwe, Mutsekwa said privately, soldiers acknowledged to him being exhausted, impoverished, hungry and even sympathetic towards the MDC Alliance.

However, the military top brass is standing by Mnangagwa who they installed after a defacto coup last November that ousted Mugabe, and are ignoring appeals from the opposition to intervene to prevent what they say is a consolidation of dictatorship.

Source - dailynews
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