Only three months ago deputy finance minister Terence Mukupe said there was no way those who were behind the military intervention that ousted former President Robert Mugabe, can let MDC-T leader, Nelson Chamisa lead Zimbabwe.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
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Addressing a Zanu PF cell meeting in Mandara, Harare on Monday, Mukupe gave the first sign yet that Zanu PF is not prepared to lose the upcoming general elections. “How can we say, honestly, the soldiers took the country, practically snatched it from Mugabe, to come and hand it over to Chamisa?
“A child talking about spaghetti roads, who is talking about impregnating all women?
“This country, where it is now and where it is coming from, needs a grown up, a steady hand, a person who can stabilise things.”
Mukupe said while he also wanted to be President of the country, he was not yet mature enough to handle the office or even to have soldiers saluting him, the same manner Chamisa wanted to be saluted.
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“Look at me, I also want to be a President, there is no one who does not want to seat in the (Mercedes) Benz while sirens are sounding all the way, but everything has its time,” he said.
“I don’t think that I am mature enough to be given the country to run and all the soldiers in this country salute me saying ‘the commander in chief is here’. “But I heard Chamisa, at another rally, saying in the morning he wakes up and practices how to inspect a guard of honour.”
MDC Alliance spokesperson, Welshman Ncube said Mukupe’s statements were extremely worrying going into an election given that the military then led by the late former commander Vitalis Zvinavashe, once declared the presidency was a strait jacket only for people who fought in the liberation struggle.
“The statements by the civilian beneficiary of military rule are most unfortunate and should be withdrawn with immediate effect,” he admonished.
“This is clearly why we have been calling on the military element to withdraw the statements made by the late General Zvinavashe, Mukupe is just repeating the statements by that command, he is a pawn in the scheme of things.”
Ncube said the threats could be real because the late MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai was blocked from assuming power after winning the 2008 presidential poll.
MDC-T spokesperson, Tabitha Khumalo has said Mukupe’s statement amounted to a threat against democracy and instilled fear in the electorate to the extent that some of them might not vote freely.
“This is why we have been calling for the demilitarisation of the elections in this country, these statements coming from a deputy minister and Zanu PF politician are most unfortunate and should be condemned,” she said.
“These are statements being uttered by people who know they have lost and now want to bring the fear factor into the elections.
“We also call on the military to be professional and stay in their barracks.”
Mukupe’s statements are in sharp contrast with those made by Vice-President Kembo Mohadi, who said Zanu PF will hand over power if they lose the polls.
Military interference in the country’s elections has continued to be a dominant theme, with some Zanu PF officials in the past reported to have said the army will assist the party to remain in power.