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Comment: Nyikayaramba – good riddance

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Controversial army general, Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba, has finally been fired from Copac for participating as a Zanu PF technical advisor to the thematic committee on elections in the new constitution-making process.

We are told the Copac management committee agreed to relieve him of his duties so as to ensure the constitution-making process was without incident.

While Nyikayaramba is crying foul after his sacking, we applaud the management committee for taking a bold decision to fire the general whose sworn allegiance to Zanu PF, and in particular President Robert Mugabe, was bound to compromise the process.

Copac co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu PF) had earlier declared Nyikayaramba was “theirs” as a technocrat and adviser to the thematic committee on elections from the Zanu PF side, but we wonder what technical knowledge the general possesses.

We however, agree with Nyikayaramba’s comments that: “In terms of expertise, someone who can say things without thinking, I am the right man. I have been involved in elections for a very long time and I am able to advise what should be in the Constitution and what should be done through an Act of Parliament.”

So people who say things without thinking apparently are not the right people for Zimbabwe.

Nyikayaramba has been involved in elections for a very long time, but we do not believe he is able to advise what should be in the Constitution when he does not believe Zimbabwe should have one.

We say so because just a few weeks back, Nyikayaramba indicated that even if the country holds elections which will produce a winner who is not from Zanu PF, he will not respect the will of the people.

That coming from a general who best must protect the country from foreign forces is absurd, to say the least. In fact, he does not deserve to occupy his position – if at all.

We wonder whether his expertise is to ensure he mobilises against the new constitution. It is clear Nyikayaramba would want the status quo to remain.

And why then is he bothered with the constitution-making process?

There is nothing untoward about the Copac management committee decision because the decision simply confirmed its resolution of October 2009 to the effect that a serving member of the armed forces can’t take part in the activities of Copac.

Zimbabweans do not need to be held to ransom by people of Nyikayaramba’s calibre, whatever the case.

Apparently, when he was involved with election processes in the country, there was chaos in the electoral processes. Need we say more!

The constitution-making process has on several occasions stalled over political bickering on methodology to be used in the compilation of data.

Just after the commencement of the meetings of the thematic committees, the process was stopped for some days over disagreements on methodology.

The matter was only resolved after the parties agreed to use both quantitative and qualitative methods concurrently. Now it’s time to move on without any hindrance.

Nyikayaramba’s issue had long been raised, and we wonder why it took so long to resolve.

Whether his contract lapsed or he was fired – the bottom line is it’s good riddance. He should retreat to the barracks.

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