Zanu PF chief whip Joram Gumbo yesterday said Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba was not the spokesperson of Zanu PF and his statements did not represent the views of the party or those of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF).
Gumbo said Nyikayaramba’s views should never be used to tarnish the image of these two institutions.
Gumbo was responding to a motion in the House of Assembly on Nyikayaramba’s recent statements claiming Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was a national security threat and also that the military would not salute any President without liberation war credentials.
The general’s utterances have been brought to Parliament for debate after sparking disquiet in the country.
“Brigadier-General Nyikayaramba is not a service chief as alleged, and his statement does not represent the views of service chiefs, or even Zanu PF and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,” said Gumbo.
“His statements therefore must not be regarded as the views or legal position of the ZDF or Zanu PF because he is not the spokesperson of ZDF or Zanu PF.”
Gumbo said Nyikayaramba’s statements must only be viewed by Zimbabweans as “very personal opinions” since he was also entitled by the Constitution to have freedom of speech like every Zimbabwean.
He warned Zimbabweans to desist from making irresponsible political statements and said even Prime Minister Tsvangirai was guilty of the same.
“Treasonous statements can be dismissed in light of the fact that the brigadier was enunciating national values he holds dear in his personal capacity. The Prime Minister has also made ‘treasonous statements’ such as ‘if the President does not leave peacefully he will be removed violently’,” said Gumbo.
Gumbo said since Nyikayaramba was not the spokesperson for the ZDF, his personal views did not demand an investigation to be conducted on the ZDF as an organisation or on his part as an individual citizen.
He warned politicians should be wary of what they said in public because “the tongue can be more dangerous than the fist”.
“I want to urge Zimbabweans that they should use words in such a manner that they do not bring negative results because some of the statements made can be very unfortunate,” he said.