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Mugabe to summon army generals over inflammatory political statements

by Staff reporter
17 May 2013 at 19:26hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has tacitly agreed to summon service chiefs over their recent inflammatory political statements in which they threw afresh their weight behind Zanu-PF, as pressure mounts on him to rein in military commanders ahead of watershed elections later this year.

Mugabe is under pressure from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a victim of vicious military verbal attacks, and Sadc leaders to restrain security service chiefs from interfering in politics and elections.

Sources said after balking on the issue, Tsvangirai on Monday confronted Mugabe, demanding he must rein in service chiefs whose statements are in violation of the constitution and laws, while they also undermined peace and stability.

A top government official told Zimbabwe Independent this week Mugabe agreed with Tsvangirai that service chiefs had overstepped the line and were destabilising the political and electoral environment ahead of make-or-break elections.

"The prime minister raised the issue at the Monday meeting with Mugabe. The president conceded the utterances by some of the commanders undermine the prospects of free and fair elections," said the official.

"Mugabe also expressed concern over the service chiefs' conduct and said he would soon summon them to discuss the issue."

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba said he had no details of the principals' meeting as he does not attend their gatherings. "I don't attend Monday meetings because they are principals' meetings and I am not one. I wasn't there," he said.

After the Monday meeting, the MDC-T intensified pressure on Mugabe and the military commanders by writing to Zec and Jomic demanding they should craft a code of conduct for security forces before the elections to ensure they behaved in accordance with the constitution and laws governing their activities.

The MDC-T further complained utterances by the army chiefs poisoned the electoral environment, while undermining its own interests and furthering Zanu PF's political agenda.

Tsvangirai this week described the security chiefs' remarks as tantamount to a "coup" since the uniformed forces were threatening to subvert the will of the people.

Source - zimbabwe independent