While security sector reform has remained a thorny issue within the fragile inclusive government, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Constantine Chiwenga has been holding a series of meetings with war veterans and military bosses ordering them to support President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party in national elections expected sometime this year.
General Chiwenga held a meeting Thursday with war veterans and senior army personnel in Masvingo Province where he told them to lead President Mugabe’s campaign for re-election.
Polls are expected to be called sometime this year.
Thursday's meeting was part of a series the army chief has been holding. So far he has been to Chivi, Chiredzi, Zaka and Mwenezi, all in Masvingo Province.
Although details of Thursday's meeting were not immediately available, war veterans who attended told VOA Studio 7 they’re now in election mood following their meetings with Chiwenga.
War veterans spokesman Kid Muzenda attended the said Chiwenga promised the former freedom fighters more land if they campaign for a Zanu-PF victory in the crucial polls.
Chiwenga's meetings come at a time when the two Movement for Democratic Change formations are calling for security sector reforms before the crucial elections.
Some senior army officials have openly said they support President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.
Zanu-PF has shot down demands for reforms, also being demanded by Southern African Developmetn Community, guarantors of the Global Political Agreement, arguing that security sector reforms would sacrifice the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa recently said security sector reforms were impossible, adding they were not part of the GPA.
But the Morgan Tsvangirai MDC formation on Thursday issued a statement calling the minister’s statement “a lie”.