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Zimbabwe Govt Rebukes Minister, Dismisses as Unlawful His Remarks on Army Refusing to Endorse Opposition President

FILE: Soldiers are seen on the street in central Harare, Zimbabwe, Nov. 16, 2017.
FILE: Soldiers are seen on the street in central Harare, Zimbabwe, Nov. 16, 2017.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has clashed with a deputy minister captured in a video circulating on social media platforms saying the Zimbabwe Defence Forces won’t allow MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa to rule Zimbabwe if he defeats Zanu PF’s presidential candidate in the forthcoming poll.

According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, acting Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Simon Khaya Moyo described Economic Development Deputy Minister Terrence Mukupe’s utterances that the army won’t even salute an opposition president as “unlawful and reckless”.

Khaya Moyo said Mukupe’s remarks “flagrantly” ran against President Mnangagwa’s pledge to ensure that Zimbabwe will this year hold free, fair and credible elections.

He is quoted by the newspaper as saying, “…such pronouncements have the negative effect of raising doubts on government’s commitment to a free, fair and non-violent plebiscite as well as to its readiness to respect and uphold the will of the people of Zimbabwe as expressed through their electoral choices and decisions.”

Khaya Moyo said Zanu PF candidate should not drag the Zimbabwe Defence Forces into political issues as they meet the people ahead of the forthcoming crucial elections.

In the video, Mukupe is quoted as saying, “How can we say, honestly, the soldiers took the country, practically snatched it from Mugabe, to come and hand it over to this young man (Nelson Chamisa) promising spaghetti roads? He is the same person that said ‘give me all the women so I can impregnate them’ … Look at me, I also want to be a president, there is no one who does not want to seat in the (Mercedes) Benz while sirens are sounding all the way, but everything has its time. I don’t think that I’m mature enough to be given the country to run and all the soldiers in this country salute me saying ‘the commander-in-chief is here’.”

Chamisa has dismissed as mischievous reports that he told an MDC-T rally that Zimbabwe needs a young person who is capable of impregnating any woman.

Several Zimbabweans, including Mnangagwa, Chamisa, Thokozani Khupe, Joice Mujuru, Dumiso Dabengwa and several others, are expected to contest the country’s presidential election.