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Defence forces being used for repression – says opposition CCC

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By Reason Razao


THE main opposition, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has slammed the ruling Zanu PF party for politicising the country’s uniformed forces in order to repress civilians.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Tuesday celebrated 42 years of existence.

In a statement, CCC spokesperson Fadzai Mahere said the ZDF has lost its mandate and was now being used as an extension of repression by the ruling party Zanu PF.

“The Defence Forces’ 42 years of service have been undermined by partisan politics. We note with particular sadness the attempt to poison and politicise the Defence Forces for partisan purposes and repression,” Mahere said.

She also called on the ZDF to remember their constitutional mandate and obligations to the people of Zimbabwe.

“We ask that they (ZDF) act in a manner that serves the interests of all Zimbabweans by fully complying with their constitutional obligation to respect the lives and dignity of the people in the execution of their duties.

“In line with the Constitution, we demand the protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms by the Defence Forces. Our security services must protect not threaten citizens. The democratic expression of citizens must be safeguarded,” charged Mahere.

She chastised the use of repressive state apparatus to infringe the freedoms enshrined in the constitution.

“The constitutionally-defined roles of the Defence Forces are to protect Zimbabwe’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“Partake in the design of our shared regional security architecture, to play a role in the preservation of international stability and peace and to offer assistance to the civilian authority in times of need,” added Mahere.

“Under the incoming Citizen Government, weapons and arms of war will never be deployed to support a political party’s partisan interests or impede the citizens’ right to demonstrate peacefully,” Mahere said.

The ZDF celebrations come barely a week after the nation remembered the August 1 victims who were massacred by the uniformed forces in the streets of Harare.