HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsMilitary, councils have no business in politics

Military, councils have no business in politics


THE country’s rural district councils (RDCs) have reportedly pledged to get President Robert Mugabe 2,3 million votes in the next election, the most brazen and devious example of Zanu PF’s capture of State organs and weakening of institutions critical to the country’s development.

Comment: NewsDay Editor

It is our contention that RDCs have no business involving themselves in politics and should be working for the development of rural areas. But here, we have an example of a clique of people, who have got no clue what their mandate is.

If councillors want to campaign for Mugabe and Zanu PF, it is their business, but it becomes worrying when the Association of Rural District Councils (ARDC), congregate to say they are mobilising for a particular candidate.

This means they are negating what they are hired to do and engaging in partisan politics, which is an affront to both democracy and good governance.

We have no qualms about them campaigning for Mugabe, but they should not abuse council resources for selfish reasons. Councillors must be reminded that their organisation, if indeed is for the development of rural people, must be apolitical and stay away from making pronunciations about political parties.

Yes many of them are budding politicians, but must deliver service to the people. If any want to get involved into fulltime politics, then they must leave the soapbox afforded to them by ARDC and be open about their political ambitions, rather than being opportunists, who abuse platforms.

The RDCs pronouncements are just a microcosm of how Zanu PF has destroyed State organs to further its narrow and parochial agenda and whoever takes over from this government has their work cut out to ensure that State institutions are strengthened and serve Zimbabweans and not just one party.

It is regrettable that Zanu PF apparatchiks have been allowed to run roughshod over the Constitution, rule of law and human rights, as long as it serves the end of the party.

On another note, while in some countries it could be chilling to hear a commander of the army making clear pronouncements on political issues, in Zimbabwe this has become the norm.

Information minister Christopher Mushohwe has in the past warned the media to stay away from reporting on the military, we hope that he carries a message to the army that it has no business in civilian politics.

While, it is disingenuous for Mushohwe to say the media should stay away from covering the security forces, calling the military to stay away from politics is a legitimate call based on the Constitution.

The military has no role in civilian politics and if the army has to remain a professional force, then its commanders ought to extricate themselves from partisan political issues.

The conflation of the State and Zanu PF is a reason the country finds itself in this difficult situation, as narrow interests are often made to trump the nation’s.

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