ZANU PF and the military will not accept Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as President even if he wins the forthcoming elections, the party’s chief negotiator of the Global Political Agreement, Patrick Chinamasa, has revealed.Report by Everson Mushava, Chief Reporter
Chinamasa, who is also Justice minister, told the BBC last week that Zanu PF would not accept a “foreign-sponsored” victory for Tsvangirai and neither would the military because the MDC-T leader had allegedly promised to reverse the gains of independence.
He hinted that the military would stage a coup if Tsvangirai wins the polls, which President Robert Mugabe wants held next March to end the four-year-old inclusive government between his party and the two MDCs.
“Now if anyone is going to say: ‘When I come into power I’m going to reverse that,’ they (the military) have every right to say: ‘Please — you are asking for trouble.’ You will be asking for trouble.”
Asked to clarify on “trouble”, Chinamasa told the BBC to make its own interpretation.
“He (Tsvangirai) will be asking for trouble to seek to reverse the land reform programme. There is no one who is going to accept any enslavement,” he said.
“And if those countries impose for him (Tsvangirai) to win, that result will not be acceptable. We will not accept it. We will just not accept it. Isn’t that clear?”
But Tsvangirai yesterday said Chinamasa’s utterances were tantamount to treason and warned that the Justice minister would regret his statements for the rest of his life because the “people will speak in the next election in a big way that will render any coup a fallacy”.
“Chinamasa is implying that the bullet is superior to the ballot and the people’s vote will amount to nothing. The good thing, however, is that the rank and file in the army will respect the people’s will,” Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, said yesterday.
Zimbabwe was forced into a Sadc-mediated coalition government in February 2009 after a violent presidential runoff in June 2008.
Tsvangirai was forced to withdraw from the presidential race, citing a brutal crackdown on his supporters by Zanu PF militia and State agents as Mugabe battled to overturn a first round poll defeat.
In June this year, at a debate organised by a local think-tank, Sapes Trust, Chinamasa predicted a civil war in Zimbabwe, saying war-mongering tendencies would escalate as the country edges towards the watershed polls.
Top military officials have in the past publicly stated that they would not salute anyone without liberation war credentials, in apparent reference to Tsvangirai.
The PM has, however, hinted that he is willing to pardon the army generals should he ascend to the Presidency.