Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau
VICE President General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired) could find himself in the Guinness Book of Records for being the only army chief in the world to lead a bloodless intervention through Operation Restore Legacy that saw former President Mr Robert Mugabe stepping down after nearly four decades in power.
This was said by Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Chief Air Marshal Perrance Shiri (Retired) on Thursday as he introduced VP Chiwenga to thousands of people gathered at President Mnangagwa’s Precabe Farm on the outskirts of Kwekwe for a field day.
“Our guest of honour is one witty leader who has held various senior positions in the Zimbabwe National Army, a journey that started soon after the liberation struggle when he was posted at One Infantry Battalion in Bulawayo,” he said.
“He is one leader who has done the unthinkable.
“The only army chief in the world to have managed to lead a peaceful and bloodless Government transition.”
Minister Shiri said the peace that prevailed during Operation Restore Legacy shocked the world, with some failing to understand how VP Chiwenga managed it.
“This is the type of man we have as our guest of honour today,” he said. “A man with rare leadership qualities.
“Some are still trying to come to terms with how he managed to lead a transition in which not even a small creature like an ant was killed.”
Minister Shiri described VP Chiwenga as a brave man even during war time.
“He is a brave man,” he said. “Even during the liberation war, he would not hesitate to make decisions to attack the enemy. This bravery was also exhibited when he led last year’s Operation Restore Legacy before he also led us through all the negotiation processes.”
Speaking at the same occasion, VP Chiwenga said Operation Restore Legacy was a momentous feat that the army took to usher the country to a new dispensation.
VP Chiwenga urged unity in the interest of the nation.
“People went into the streets in their numbers during Operation Restore Legacy,” he said. “It was a unity of purpose.
“We are now focusing on reviving our economy and the President has reiterated that we should stop fighting and focus on the economy.”