The leader of the MDC-T formation, Nelson Chamisa, says his party is concerned about the Zimbabwe Defence Forces’ involvement in politics.
Speaking at Chatham House in London on Wednesday, Chamisa said despite the army’s move to remove former president Robert Mugabe from power last November, he is confident that there are some soldiers who are still professional enough to stay away from politics.
“We are extremely concerned that the military ofcourse played a pivotal role in politics of our country in the context of what happened in November but also in the context of what is happening now in terms of elections … What we want to see there is the politics of engagement by civilians. So, yes, we are concerned but we are fortified by the fact that we also have a lot of soldiers who are professional, who respect the will of the people, who will respect the will of the electorate.”
In response to a question on “booting out” Chinese companies from Zimbabwe if elected president in the forthcoming presidential poll, Chamisa said there is need to have mutual relations between the two nations.
“Our relationship with China, like l indicated, should not be a relationship of unequal, should be a relationship of win win, if we are to do business let’s do business on the bases of the set values, set notes, our good governance, human rights observance, non-exploitation of citizens of both countries that is the basis of our engagement .
“Yes, China is a big global player but also understand historical issues around our relationship with United Kingdom. We need to revive that, this cat and mouse relationship with the British government or British people is not helping our country because we have a historical link that we need to harness and harvest out, we must cream off that important relationship. So, the immediate thing we are going to do is to restore good and happy relations between the British and Zimbabwean people so that we mutually build our country.”
Chamisa, who is accompanied by People’s Democratic Party leader Tendai Biti and former Education Minister David Coltart, is expected to meet with some state officials before appearing in a televised interview.