Mnangagwa's utterances treasonous – Crisis

Harare, – Zimbabwe’s influential civil society organisation, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CIZC) has described as treasonous a utterances by the minister of defence, Emmerson Mnangagwa over the weekend that Zanu (PF) will continue to rule even if they lose elections.\r\n

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“Utterances made by the Minister of Defence, Emmerson Mnangagwa in Kwekwe over the weekend are shameful, treasonous and a subversion of the will of the people. Mnangagwa was quoted as saying Zanu (PF) will continue in office regardless of any electoral outcome.

“The statements by the Minister of Defence are a reflection of the intentions of Zanu (PF) which has largely relied on ‘calculated terror, error and psychological warfare’ to maintain its three decade hold on power.

“In 2008, following the victory of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the March 29 election, Zanu (PF) unleashed a wave of terror on innocent civilians leading to the death of an estimated 200 people and the displacement of thousands more.

“The utterances are a deliberate ploy to circumvent another loss on the part of Zanu (PF) at the same time depriving Zimbabweans their constitutionally guaranteed right to participate freely in the governance of their country.

“The intimidatory statements are in violation of Section 133A of the Electoral Act which outlines electoral offenses among them, intimidation. If anything, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should deal decisively with the Minister whose utterances, which are evidently treasonous, could ignite violence against perceived opponents,” reads part of the statement from Crisis

Mnangagwa,  is considered President Robert Mugabe’s blue eyed boy and is sometimes touted as the veteran leader’s natural successor in Zanu (PF).

The feared Zanu (PF) stalwart has of late reportedly shrugged off opposition from retired general Solomon Mujuru’s in terms of fighting for closeness to Mugabe.

What has even sent panic modes in both Zanu (PF) and the nation in general is that Mnangagwa and the Commander Defence Forces, General Constantine Chiwenga have developed a very close relationship probably explaining why the Minister of Defence is now speaking like a soldier.

But CIZC believes that Mnangagwa should be stopped as he is sending a wrong signal to the soldiers and the nation at large.

The hard hitting statement, also took a swipe at Mnangagwa’s utterances that the people voted for the wrong party, referring to MDC. The statement said the Minister of Defence was wrong in attacking the people for making their choice as they were making a statement against torture, rape and victimisation.

“What Mnangagwa is doing is virtually arm twisting the electorate to accept that no matter how many times they cast their votes, Zanu (PF) will disrespect the outcome of every electoral process undoubtedly creating the impression that the ballot will not change anything.

“If anything, Mnangagwa’s utterances encourage apathy and discourage full citizen participation in political processes. The question most people would ask themselves is, why should I participate if the outcome is clearly pre-determined?

“Mnangagwa and Zanu (PF) should respect the outcome of elections and allow the people of Zimbabwe to decide their own destiny instead of making statements which cause apathy and incite violence among citizens” said Crisis.

Mugabe has announced that elections will be held next year.

Meanwhile a Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) officer, Barbra Nyangairi said electoral reforms must not assist in intimidating voters.

Presenting a paper on minimum conditions for free and fair elections at a Radio VOP elections workshop, Nyangairi, said there must be transparency in the printing of ballot papers and postal voting.

She said police should not be allowed to man polling stations if the perpetrators of violence in the past elections were not arrested.

"It’s unfortunate that there is no audit of army and police and their numbers can be manipulated in favour of a certain political party," she said.

ZESN is also concerned on Presidential Temporary Measures Act that gives the power to President Robert Mugabe to override decisions using his executive powers.

She added that local observers gave credibility to the elections process. – Radio VOP