Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said he had agreed with President Robert Mugabe on a code of conduct for security forces.
Report by Phillip Chidavaenzi
Addressing a Press conference in Harare after their traditional Monday meeting, the PM said the principals — who include Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara — would come up with the code that would ensure security forces’ role is properly defined.
“We have received reports of deployment of security forces in constituencies, but none of us wants to see the forces intimidating people,” he said.
“We want to establish the truth of the so-called deployment and the President, as the Commander-in-Chief of the defence forces has assured us that he will act.”
The MDC formations and Zanu PF have been tussling over the need for security reforms since the formation of the inclusive government in 2009.
Mugabe has resisted calls for reforms to rein in securocrats accused of dabbling in politics.
Some generals have in the past threatened not to recognise
anyone who wins future elections other than Mugabe.
Turning to the media, the Premier said they would soon call for a meeting with editors to discuss issues of professionalism and responsible reportage.
“As provided for in the Global Political Agreement, we want the media to desist from hate speech,” Tsvangirai said. “We want you to have editorial thrusts that promote unity. Media must understand that you can cause a war, like the genocide in Rwanda.”
Tsvangirai said they also urged Mugabe to take decisive action against war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda who has been accused of terrorising villagers around the country, ordering them to vote for Mugabe in the forthcoming elections.
“We implored him to take very decisive action against one Jabulani Sibanda,” he said. “I think he is a lone ranger. I think the war veterans themselves would like to have respect and dignity.”
On chiefs who have also been accused of instructing their subjects to vote for Zanu PF in previous elections, the PM said a meeting will be held to discuss their proper functions, which he said “need to be properly defined”.
Tsvangirai also indicated that the principals agreed that Jacob Mudenda should chair the Human Rights Commission because he was already within the system and conversant with its operations.
The PM said they had put in place mechanism to raise internally the $100 million required for both the referendum and the elections.
Speaking at the same conference, Mutambara said it was important for such processes to be funded locally.
Tsvangirai added they had agreed on a new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) boss, but the name would be revealed at a later stage.
Retired judge Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe resigned as Zec chairperson last week after reportedly citing health reasons.