BY BLESSED MHLANGA
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling Zanu PF party yesterday said it would continue banking on the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) for political survival because the two are tied together by the liberation struggle.
Zanu PF acting political commissar Patrick Chinamasa told journalists at a Press conference in Harare yesterday that the army was duty-bound to protect the country’s sovereignty and that there was an unbreakable continuity between the ruling party and its military wings during the liberation struggle.
The liberation wings, Zanla and Zipra, Chinamasa said, remain at the heart of the ZNA.
“Always be mindful that there is this unbreakable continuity between the liberation struggle and Zanu PF, between the armies of liberation Zipra and Zanla and the national army of independence,” he said.
“Any notion which seeks to break this bond should be rejected outright.”
The military played a major role in settling internal power struggles in Zanu PF by leading a coup in November 2017, which led to the ouster of long-time ruler, the late former President Robert Mugabe and ushered in Mnangagwa’s rule.
The military, together with veterans of the liberation struggle, have also led repeated violent electoral campaigns on behalf of Zanu PF.
Chinamasa said the composition of the ZNA leadership also told a story of the link between the ruling party and the military.
“It speaks for itself who are the commanders of the army, who is the CDF [Commander Defence Forces], Cde Valerio Sibanda. Who was he? He was a leading general in Zipra. Who is the commander of the national army, Cde Edzayi Chimonyo? Who was he? He was a leading commander in Zanla. That culture of defending the sovereignty of this country will continue,” he said.
Chinamasa, who was flanked by former Zanu PF political commissars Victor Matemadanda, Webster Shamu and Engelbert Rugeje, was in a war mode, accusing non-governmental organisations (NGOs) of leading a regime change agenda.
“I cannot conclude this presser without denouncing the consented and orchestrated state of government via sponsored interventions which have become a menace, funding by foreign intelligence services of opposition political parties, non-governmental organisations which are anything, but civil,” he charged.
“As you know, Zimbabwe has a record. We have something like 3 500 NGOs in this country. None of them, very few of them are helping towards the economic development of the country.
“All of them are basically employed to achieve regime change in Zimbabwe and we condemn it. They are clearly calculated to undermine the orderly evolution of our political, economic and judicial systems and must be condemned in the strongest terms.”
He said NGOs could not be allowed to threaten the independence of the country.
“We are at the moment just understanding what they are doing and if we clearly see that they are on a regime change agenda, ours will be to request their deregistration,” Chinamasa said.
“Clearly, that is our responsibility as a country. We cannot allow, as a country, international organisations which we register under our legislation to subvert the sovereignty and integrity of Zimbabwe.”
He also blasted the Voice of America, a United States-based international broadcaster, saying it was being used to fight the Mnangagwa-led regime.
“To make reference to the specifically targeted propaganda against Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans in Sadc via hostile broadcasts like the Voice of America’s Studio 7, Zanu PF views this hostile broadcast in the same light as illegal sanctions,” he said.
“It is an illegitimate and unwarranted interference in our country’s domestic affairs. We take this hostile broadcast as part of the illegal arsenal for regime change. We will resist these machinations as we have done,” he said.
Chinamasa said Mnangagwa had been endorsed as the candidate for the 2023 general elections and was poised to dump all opposition forces in the annals of history.
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