By Anna Chibamu
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa Tuesday sang praises for the country armed forces but rebuked his Zanu PF opponents for allegedly ordering recent army killings on defenceless civilians in Harare’s CBD beginning of this month.
He was giving his comments in a statement to coincide with the annual Defence Forces Day commemorations.
Chamisa said the country’s military has done well as a force in discharging various community based programmes and in foreign peacekeeping postings.
He was quick to condemn the current Zanu PF led government for abusing the military for its own political ambitions as seen by the November 2017 scenes in which the military ousted then President Robert Mugabe and replaced him with the now president-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Chamisa condemned politicians who gave the army the green light to shoot at bystanders and MDC Alliance demonstrators who were angered by results of the just ended elections which gave Zanu PF a thumping poll victory.
Six were shot dead while over a dozen were injured as a result of the poll related skirmishes.
“In 2017, a new dispensation was promised. Zimbabweans welcomed the intervention but, people had been deceived. Those who preached constitutionalism had done so out of love for themselves only,” Chamisa said.
“On August 1, 2018, six unarmed civilians were killed by armed forces given an unlawful order. As the country marks the ZDF day, there are grieving families in anguish, whose loved ones are no more, having been gunned down in cold blood by soldiers executing an unlawful directive.
“This is because impunity reigns in this outgoing government. Impunity has been the defining characteristic of this government.
“Defence Forces are there to protect Zimbabwe, its people, its national security and interests and its territorial integrity and to uphold the constitution,” added Chamisa.
The opposition chief accused his opponents of continued attempts to tarnish the image of the armed forces.
“Our politicians have conducted themselves in ways that risk tarnishing the good reputation of the ZDF.
“These politicians have tried to exploit our men and women in uniform, reducing them to pawns, to prop up their political ambitions.
“At no point should our military be weakened, balkanized and divided into units under the control of self-serving politicians with warlord mentalities,” he said in his statement.”