Former Home Affairs co-minister and MDC-T secretary for defence Giles Mutsekwa yesterday described as retrogressive remarks by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa suggesting the army would crush any possible revolt against President Robert Mugabe’s continued rule.
Mutsekwa, who is Housing and Social Amenities minister and MDC-T MP for Dangamvura-Chikanga, described Mnangagwa’s remarks as a threat to democracy and said the minister must stop behaving like “an old-fashioned politician”.
Last Friday, Mnangagwa reportedly told delegates during a tour of Chinhoyi University of Technology’s Hunyani Farm the army would crush any revolts against President Mugabe.
“It is regretted Mnangagwa continues to think like an old-fashioned minister in that he still believes the power of a nation is resident in the strength of the army. Modern thinking doesn’t agree with that because security of any nation is derived from other government portfolios and not just the army.
“Zimbabweans have been very patient for a very long time and he should be the first person to admit that even with misrule since independence, they never engaged in revolts because of the consequences not from the army, but because a war destroys infrastructure and the economy.”
“(Former Rhodesian leader) Ian Smith, even with his sophisticated army machinery, did not win the war because he did not have the support of the people. If people in Zimbabwe were violent, the army would not stop them. He has to thank the people for their patience and belief in the ballot box and not the barrel of the gun.”