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Chihuri defends Zanu PF conference appearance


Show of loyalty ... Security services chiefs attending the Zanu PF conference in Gweru

08/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
No apology ... Augustine Chihuri
 
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POLICE chief Augustine Chihuri has told the MDC-T that it has no hope of taking over power if the party does not respect veterans of the country’s fight for independence from British colonial rule.

Chihuri was reacting criticism by MDC-T secretary general and Finance Minister Tendai Biti who told New Zimbabwe.com the security services chiefs had abandoned all pretences at being public servants by attending the Zanu PF national conference in Gweru.

Chihuri attended the gathering with defence forces chief, Constantine Chiwenga, army commander, Phillip Sibanda, Airforce of Zimbabwe boss, Perence Shiri, and prison services head, Paradzai Zimondi.

Speaking in the United Kingdom, Biti said the service chiefs should not have attended a party political gathering.

“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.”

But Chihuri hit back Sunday saying: “We are part and parcel of the revolution. We cannot be divorced from that revolution; those who are thinking of leading this country without respecting those who fought for it must stop dreaming.

“For us not to be part of that revolution is trying to make us forget where we came from, who I am and who I would have been."

He added: “Remember, we fought for this country to keep and not to let it go just like that; we fought a bitter war against the robbers, thieves and murderers who were enjoying the fruits of our country while we were languishing in poverty.

“We are service chiefs and we go everywhere where the President is. The next time the conference is held, we will go and we will continue to go. It shows that we are loyal.

“Besides, the blood which was shed is giving them freedom to say that rubbish. They are doing whatever they are doing because we fought for this country for it to be free.”

The MDC-T has been pressing for a reform of the country’s security services after top generals insisted that they would not service under a President who was not involved in the liberation struggle, a veiled reference to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai however, says the generals who have benefitted from Zanu PF’s continued stay in power do not speak for the military rank and file.



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The MDC-T leader says he is confident that an MDC-T government will take over power should he win new elections expected in March next year.  


 
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