Zanu (PF), MDC Negotiators Close To Trading Blows Over Security Chiefs

Harare,- Zanu (PF) and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) negotiators nearly traded blows on Thursday following a heated argument on whether Zimbabwe’s partisan security chiefs should keep their jobs.

The MDC is adamant Zimbabwe’s security chiefs, who have never disguised their loyalty to President Robert Mugabe, are the stumbling block to a return to democracy in Zimbabwe.

“The feeling is that Mugabe could have resigned himself to the wishes of SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) which want him to resign but is under pressure not to relinquish power from service chiefs,” said the source.

The security chiefs are Defence Forces Commander Constantine Chiwenga, Air Force boss Perrence Shiri, army commander Philip Valerio Sibanda, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri, Prisons Commissioner Paradzayi Zimondi and CIO director general Happyton Bonongwe.

According to the source, the MDC want them to resign and be replaced with new officers who do not have a history tainted with political bias.

Moses Mzila Ndlovu, one of the negotiators from Professor Welshman Ncube’s MDC, said the meeting went on well but refused to confirm reports the negotiators were almost at each other’s throats.

Arriving from a tour of four SADC nation two weeks ago, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he had impressed upon SADC leaders to help the country return to civilian rule.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Tsvangirai attacked Chihuri for his continued refusal to arrest Zanu (PF) perpetrators of political violence.