Zanu-PF Youth league slams Gen Chiwenga
THE Zanu-PF youth league yesterday castigated Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, General Constantino Chiwenga, for meddling in civilian affairs in a disguised pursuit of his selfish interests and those of axed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The ruling party’s national secretary for youth affairs, Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga, said attempts to influence processes in Zanu-PF through indirect threats towards President Mugabe were not shared by the rest of the military command structure.
Cde Chipanga said the league has total respect for the armed forces and cherish their role in protecting and safeguarding the country and its revolution.
“We are however, totally against the bulk of the press statement issued by General Chiwenga yesterday (Monday). We believe that the views he expressed are his personal opinions and not the collective view of the security forces as a whole,” he said.
“It is no secret that the security forces in Zimbabwe know their parameters and hence the international respect they earned wherever they have played a role. We therefore address him directly and in kind.”
Cde Chipanga said the independence and democracy enjoyed in the country “did not come through the barrel of the mouth or press conference” but through the barrel of the gun and tens of thousands shed their blood in a great sacrifice for the independence, peace and democracy which is now under assault.
“This freedom is therefore sacrosanct and we will not fold our hands to allow a creature of the constitution subvert the very constitution which establishes it.”
Cde Chipanga said Section 211(3) of the constitution is clear on the subordination of armed forces to civilian authority.
He said the section also calls upon the armed forces to respect the rights and freedoms of all persons moreso the right of association.
“The selective reading of the constitution of Zimbabwe by Comrade Chiwenga whilst ignoring this important part cannot go unchallenged as well as section 208(2) which makes the interference of the armed forces in civilian matters illegal. Section 218 of the same constitution again forbids the army and security forces and confines them to the barracks where they belong during times of peace,” said Cde Chipanga.
“We are therefore taking a stand against those who are bent on sowing division among our people and also those taking advantage of the privilege of their appointment by our President to extort guarantees and immunity for fugitives and border jumpers from the same appointing authority. These people should be warned that we the youth are in our millions and those wish to ride on the back of the tiger will end up inside.
“As a revolution party, Zanu PF is evolving and placing itself at the forefront of the constitutional dispensation we fought the oppressor and obtained. Creative destruction and change of guard in certain areas has always been the nature of the beast.”
Cde Chipanga said in his press statement, Gen Chiwenga alluded to several rebellions in Africa, which were quashed, “but forgot to mention that the majority were caused, motivated and driven by egotistical military individuals who thought the revolutionary sun rose and set on their backs”.
“The principle which established Zanu-PF is very clear. The guns will follow the politics and not the politics following the guns. Cde Chiwenga therefore cannot be allowed to dictate who will lead the party and country.”
Cde Chipanga said the youth are the majority in the country and would not allow any individual military man to interfere with the functions of President Mugabe who was legitimately elected.
“All those in security fatigues who wish to engage in politics are free to throw their hats into the ring and not hide behind the barrel of a gun. We also wish to remind them that conniving and conspiring to overthrow a constitutionally elected government is a crime in this country and anywhere in the world.
“The African Union and SADC position is very clear and we as the youth will stand guard in defence of the revolution like the people of Turkey last year who repelled rogue security forces from interfering with an elected government,” he said.
Cde Chipanga said freedom of expression enshrined in the constitution allows for the criticism of public organs like the government and military sector.
“The security sector like any organ of the state will not be immune to criticism including you Comrade Chiwenga as you are a servant appointed (not elected) to serve the people .
“We also note with concern that the renewal of the party and strengthening of its organs by replacing deadwood traitors, looters and common criminals is being taken as an attack on war veterans,” he said.
“There are thousands of war veterans keeping a fortified guard with the youth. Save for shallow and empty characters like (Chris) Mutsvangwa, (Victor) Matemadanda, (Douglas) Mahiya and a few lumpen elements, the war veterans are behind the party.
“These rebel elements who shy away from all democratic processes and have never won or competed in any democratic sphere, understand the language of imposition as they were imposed by Comrade Chiwenga and Comrade Mnangagwa to serve their interests.
“These characters whose shady appointment at a shadowy Masvingo conference funded by a businessman whom we shall not name at the moment are the ones acting as foot soldiers for Comrade Chiwenga and the Lacoste faction to advocate the successionist agenda of the fugitive (Emmerson) Dambudzo Mnangagwa.”
Cde Chipanga said Gen Chiwenga lampoons the party and the government for poor economic indicators whilst conveniently forgetting the effects of sanctions and recession.
“He also conveniently forgets to mention the sterling efforts of the government in price stabilisation of basic commodities. As Commander of the Defence Forces, Comrade Chiwenga, we await a full report on the never accounted for revenue after extraction (of diamonds). This money would go a long way in alleviating the obtaining hardships the soldiers are facing and improve their welfare and morale.
“Comrade Chiwenga cannot have his cake and eat it too. He also cannot benefit from his own mischief and misdeeds in that together with the former Minister of Defence now fugitive Comrade Dambudzo Mnangagwa, they dismally failed in the stewardship of revenue streams that flowed from diamond concessions allocated to the Defence Forces whose sole purpose was cushioning the Defence Forces from economic hardships. A day will come when those responsible will have to account to the people.”
Cde Chipanga said Gen Chiwenga was overstepping his boundaries and mandate by prescribing the way the party should handle its affairs and electoral processes.
“Zimbabwe is in a time of peace not war. Therefore martial law prescriptions have no room and will not be tolerated in the revolutionary party. Cde Chiwenga seems to be operating under a misapprehension that the appointment of Cde Dambudzo Mnangagwa as Deputy President was an anointing of him as successor to the President,” he said.
“He should be reminded that several leaders of the party like Ndabaningi Sithole, Edgar Tekere and Runainda Mujuru fell to the party’s democratic process but there was a deafening silence from the same forces who now cry wolf. The war of liberation should not be privatised as the povo also suffered the brunt of the war. The teachings of Mao Tse Tung taught us that the people were water and the comrades the fish and the two complemented each other.”
Cde Chipanga said they view dimly all those who minimise the role of the people as they were important stakeholders and stockholders of the revolution.
He said the election of civilian leaders to lofty positions in the party is a recognition of this fact and not a reversal of the revolutionary creed.
“No one has a monopoly of the war of liberation. The learned Comrade Chiwenga who recently acquired his PhD Degree should easily understand this elementary fact,” said Cde Chipanga.
“The creative destruction in Zanu-PF is democracy at play. Cde Mnangagwa was voted out by a unanimous vote of all provinces and organs.
“We on this day choose to stand by the will of people like General Josiah Tongogara, Jason Ziyapapa Moyo, Nikita Mangena and Vitalis Zvinavashe.Those who want to stand in front of the Freedom Train will go the way of Nyathi Nyadzonya,Hamadziripi and Ndabaningi Sithole. We are watching you and toyeuchidzana that you were instrumental in the creation of the one centre of power in the party only because then it was benefiting your surrogate and fugitive Dambudzo Mnangagwa,” said Cde Chipanga.
“Now that the shoe is on the other foot you now throw tantrums. Consistency and conforming to principles you set for others is what makes a revolutionary Comrade Chiwenga. Zimbabwe is a democracy and Zanu-PF has been entrusted as the custodian of the liberation and revolutionary flame.”
Cde Chipanga said President Mugabe remains the only elected leader of Zimbabwe.
“Freedom is a non-negotiable birth right bestowed upon us by the revolution. It is a tree that was watered by the blood of thousands of liberation war heroes and the common people most of who lie in mass graves,” he said.
“This liberation and fundamental rights which came at such steep price cannot be the personal property of one rogue element in the security sector with power to give it and take at will. No single person has the power to impose his minions to leadership positions.
“This is an assault on our freedom as we now have a new constitution which places soldiers in barracks and civilian authority in power. The army need to take a leaf from their counterparts in the Police, Prisons and Correctional services and Central Intelligence Organisation who were not part of yesterday’s circus.”