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Biti slams army chiefs for attending Zanu PF conference

Partisan ... L-R Zimondi, Chihuri, Shiri, Sibanda and Chiwenga attend Zanu PF conference

07/12/2012 00:00:00
by Mduduzi Mathuthu
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MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti condemned police and military chiefs on Friday after they attended the Zanu PF conference in Gweru.

Biti said the service chiefs had abandoned all pretences that they were public servants by attending a political and partisan gathering.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga, army commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda, Air Force chief Air Marshal Perence Shiri and prisons boss General Paradzai Zimondi swapped their uniforms for suits to attend President Robert Mugabe’s address to 6,000 Zanu PF supporters.

Biti, speaking after delivering a lecture on his experience of four years of the MDC-T sharing power with Zanu PF, said: “We have always said it that these people are partisan and lack the professional discipline of civil servants.

“I wish I could say I’m surprised by it, but I’m not because it confirms what we have always said.”

It was significant, Biti said, that the service chiefs did not wear their uniforms which suggested they attended the conference in their personal capacities.

The service chiefs have refused to salute Tsvangirai since he was sworn in as Prime Minister in 2009, claiming protocol dictates that they can only salute the President and his two deputies.

The MDC-T accuses the military and police top brass of dabbling in politics, even engaging in violence, to keep Mugabe and his Zanu PF party in power.

The Zanu PF conference is the last before key elections next year in which President Robert Mugabe is expected to face a stiff challenge from MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.


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