BY Everson Mushava
OPPOSITION United Democratic Alliance (UDA) president Daniel Shumba has said Zimbabwe’s biggest elephant in the room was the militarisation of State institutions and that any political reforms that will not achieve the demilitarisation would be a waste of time.
“There has been capture of State institutions by the military, particularly the economic cluster, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Judiciary,” Shumba told NewsDay in an interview yesterday.
“The country needs reforms, and the reforms should be directed first towards the demilitarisation of the State.”
Shumba’s calls come at a time the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC is clamouring for dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa to come up with a raft of reforms that the opposition party said will restore the confidence in the country’s electoral system.
Chamisa claims the current economic meltdown in the country was a result of Mnangagwa’s lack of legitimacy after a stolen 2018 general election, his first polls after wresting power from his predecessor, Robert Mugabe in a military coup in November 2018.
Shumba said the coup cemented the State capture that started long back when the military was exposed to opulent lives from looting of resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the late 90s.
“Militarisation of the State institutions has created godfathers to ensure corruption persists. The law enforcement agencies can no longer arrest anyone without clearance from the top. The way Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga attacked the Judge President shows the military is above the law,” he said.
Shumba said even the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s “cowboy” monetary policies were meant to please the military elite now into mining and other businesses where a few individuals are living large while the majority of the soldiers are feeding on crumbs.