War vets demands unconstitutional

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DemandS by war veterans that President Robert Mugabe appoints serving security chiefs into the Zanu PF central committee and politburo, are not only dangerous, but a subversion of the Constitution, analysts have said.


PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

Saviour-Kasukuwere

War veterans requested Mugabe, at their indaba with the 92-year-old last week, that the position of party commissar, held by Saviour Kasukuwere, be reserved for the ex-fighters, while security chiefs should be given other top posts.

But analysts said the demand was not in sync with the dictates of the new Constitution, which proscribes serving members of the security services from being active political party members.

Section 208 (3) of the Constitution reads: “Members of the security services must not be active members or office-bearers of any political party or organisation.”

The security services are defined as the defence forces, police service, intelligence services, prison and correctional services and any other security services established by an Act of Parliament.

South African-based political commentator, Ricky Mukonza said: “These are self-serving demands meant to ensure that the war veterans are strategically positioned in the power matrix of Zanu PF.
Such demands portray war veterans as selfish people, who are less concerned about promoting national interests, but rather their own sectoral interests,” he said.

“It is a subversion of the Constitution, as serving army members are expected to be apolitical.”
People’s Democratic Party spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said the demand by war veterans was ill-conceived.

“The demand is not only unconstitutional, but also against all modern norms of security services. The army should be a professional unit that does not delve into party political feuds,” he said.
“We are not North Korea or China, where the military participates in politics, and even in those countries, they are trying to move away from such a model.”

However, war veterans spokesman Douglas Mahiya yesterday denied that such a resolution was passed.
“I have checked, we did not say that and in any event it’s the party that decides who to second to which organ,” he said.

The demands were made as factionalism, fuelled by succession politics, has divided Zanu PF into two distinct groups — Team Lacoste and G40. Lacoste reportedly supports Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, while G40 is coalescing around First Lady Grace Mugabe in the race to take over from Mugabe.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Yes,the country’s laws provide for a supremacy model style of civil military relations,the various Acts of Parliament governing the conduct of uniformed forces in particular,this position has since been consolidated in the country’s new constitutional dispensation.However,those members of the uniformed branches of the security services who are no longer in active service either through resignation or retirement are free to join any political formations of their choices.

  2. The army by definition enhances and protects the well-bring and security of the state and not that of a single individual or political party. If the service chiefs are absorbed into the structures of one political party then the army must and will serve to uphold the vested interests of that party but not necessarily those of the nation at large. In other words the army morphs itself into something entirely seperate from what it was initially set out to be. It transforms itself into a factional militia controlled by and accountable to a section of the society and yet retaining its appearance of being the nation’s protector and feeding off the nation’s resources. Resources which then can be used to neutralise the providers of the same to the benefit of the controlling polical party. That doen’t in the least paint a picture of a very healthy state of affairs, for the nation entire.

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