US seeks out Zim military

FORMER United States ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, has urged Washington to seek ways of accommodating President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s politicised military establishment and help in the re-industrialisation of the country in the aftermath of a credible election later this year.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

In a statement before the Africa Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last week, regarding the potential for US-Zimbabwe relations in the aftermath of former President Robert Mugabe’s ouster, Ray said the opposition is Zimbabwe was too disjointed to pose a threat to Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF government.

Mnangagwa’s administration swept to power on the back of a military coup in November last year, after Mugabe succumbed to pressure from the public and Parliament and stepped down.

“The elephant in the room, which can’t be entirely ignored, is the Zimbabwean military. Existing laws and regulations will limit what we can do with the military, but for the long term, peaceful development of Zimbabwe, at some point we will have to figure out a way to work with this institution,” he said.

“Initially, I believe the primary focus should be on inculcating in the military establishment an ethos of service to the nation as a whole rather than identification with a specific political party. In my limited contact with senior military officials when I was ambassador, I was convinced that there exists within the military establishment a cadre of people who would like to professionalise and depoliticise the institution. The challenge will be to identify those individuals, and develop effective ways of working with them.”

According to Ray, the US could try to tip-toe the Zimbabwean securocrats and approach them through Sadc.

“One possibility might be to establish a working relationship with the Sadc Peacekeeping Academy, which is located in Harare, and allowing Zimbabwean military participation in courses of instruction on military professionalism.

“I leave it to State and Defence, working with the congress, to determine just how such a programme would be implemented,” said the retired ambassador.
With Mnangagwa consistently declaring he intends to run a free and fair election, Ray said the US needed to find ways of working with him.

3 Comments

  1. Irrelevant topic Newsday! Is a former ambassador now US? Idzi inyaya dzemubhawa gus. Please respect us and report accordingly. What was newsworthy, when it comes to the US is that Trump renewed sanctions over the weekend, and you and your Herald friends never reported it.

  2. stop dreaming ray,the army toes the line of the dead,dead to the voices of the voiceless.as long as they get new toyota hilux trucks they will march for a dead king ,desolate the next generation for opaque and a moment in the front headlines .they dont care about the masses all they care about is oiling their military way of living ,which is a failure to identify that civilians give them identity not other way round.so no Ray civilians are key to zims transition

  3. We do not care what some confused pple say the truth of the matter is Mnangagwa is going he is not popular and the opposition in this country popular and is not disjoint at all .

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