Chamisa dares military to stay out of politics


OPPOSITION MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa, has challenged the military to stay out of this year’s electoral processes and allow democracy to flourish.

BY OBEY MANAYITI / Own Correspondent

Chamisa, who was answering questions at the Oxford Union in the UK on Monday, said his party was extremely concerned by reports that soldiers were taking an active role in Zanu PF politics ahead of this year’s harmonised elections.

Although the military played a pivotal role in the removal of former President Robert Mugabe in November last year, Chamisa said memories of the 2008 election violence were still fresh in the electorate’s minds.

“We are concerned, but not worried in the sense that we have a way to go round it and this is why we have insisted that we have an irrevocable declaration by the military that they will respect the will of the people,” Chamisa said.

“Once the people have voted, let the will of the people be respected, the ballot must be protected by the bullet and not to be undermined by it, but what we are seeing in Zimbabwe is that the bullet seeks to replace the ballot when in fact the whole essence of going to the liberation struggle is for the bullet to preserve the ballot.”

In 2008, a number of MDC-T supporters lost their lives while others were tortured when Zanu PF sought to reclaim victory in the runoff election.

“We are extremely concerned that the military, of course it played a critical role in the politics of our country in the context of November and also in the context of what is happening now in terms of elections.

“In 2008 you are aware that there was violence but the military played a pivotal role. Under normal circumstances, we do not want to see the military in villages or the villages or the villages militarized. So we need to demilitarise the villages and de-villagise the military and make sure that we do not have our soldiers out of the barracks, in the villages,” he said.

Chamisa said the opposition was however fortified by the fact that there were also soldiers who were professional and respected the will of the people and the electorate.

He also spoke about the need to have people living in the Diaspora to participate in the elections and the need to restore trust and build confidence in the economy.

Chamisa also described the forthcoming polls as the most crucial since the 1980 elections when Zimbabwe attained its independence from Britain.

“This is an election to move from the liberation promise to the transformation promise. This is an election to see young people playing a role to fulfil their historical and revolutionary mandate to transform Zimbabwe into a modern State,” he said.

“We want to see accountability in terms of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which is supposed to be independent, but is not entirely independent. We want to see put in place the auditing of the ballot paper, a source of contestation in the past, and the auditing of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system.”

Beginning this year, Zimbabwe will use BVR in place of its much-contested electoral voters’ roll administered by the Registrar-General’s Office.

Chamisa also called for an international observer network comprising African countries as well as those from the rest of the world “to support the initiative for a free and fair election”.

On whether there was sufficient time to see through the needed reforms, Chamisa said: “Is three months enough? It’s not a question of time, but of political will and what we’ve seen is that there’s no political will on the part of President Emmerson Mnangagwa”.


  1. sorry young man how on earth can they stay out of politics when there are the ones who removed mugabe forget it

    • They can do so by respecting and acting to the letter of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which is the supreme law of the land (which they fought for, presumably). The CoZ is a home-grown document which is the foundation of a modern State. It amazes me that some Zimbabweans cannot distinguish between a political party and a government. Political parties and their leaders come and go, the country will outlive them. A government is there for every citizen who contributes to it by paying tax.

  2. the question right now is what are you offering us ordinary people. focus on your campaign give us a reason to support you?

    • Binky, i know you will agree with me that we need some new faces in govt. The tired same old faces that we have had for the past 38 years have brought nothing but misery for our poor fellow citizens, especially in the rural areas. Nothing of significant value was done by these “comrades” except looting the country’s mineral wealth for self-enrichment. 2009 gave us a sign that things may improve because as soon as they were dismissed things started going down again. So i will give them benefit of doubt & give them a chance to lead alone this time.

    • Is Zanu PF’s monumental failure over the 38 years not enough for one to use their brain and try something else?

  3. Chamisa, we did not risk our lives to chase away Mugabe so as to give you the country, do you understand. Do you think we do not have brains. Who do you think you are? What do you thnk you have that we do not have, except childish overzealousness. We appreciate you are oo young, but Zimbabwe is not a toy to play around with. There are wire motor cars out there for for you do while-uo your time. But you cannot do that with our country. We had to fight for it to get from the UK migrators.

  4. 100% Mukwiv…., we need new blood, but not this one. “Spaghetti on the roads?” Kkkkk small brains. We re old enough to be fooled

    • “spaghetti roads” not “spaghetti on the roads” enda unodzoserwa mari yako yose from Gr1

  5. Now he is saying stay away from politics but masoja paakabvisa Mugabe they celebrated these people

  6. Same same naAMugabe. He used to say that. The more he said that the more he annoyed the Military.

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