Defence forces’ service undermined by partisan politics says CCC

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By Staff Reporter

Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change has accused the ruling party Zanu PF of “poisoning and policitising” the mandate of the defence forces.

In a statement that acknowledged the role played by the liberation war heroes and heroines, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the gains of the revolution were now being drawn along partisan lines.

Zimbabwe marked 43 years since the Defence Forces came to be and CCC applauded the sterling performances of the security service men in various peacekeeping missions in Africa.

“Our Defence Forces have distinguished themselves in many of their constitutionally-defined roles. For 43 years, they have safeguarded Zimbabwe’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“We take pride in their sterling performances in various peacekeeping missions in Africa and the role they continue to play in aiding the civilian authority to save lives, deliver humanitarian aid and spearhead emergency reconstruction as they did in 2019 in the wake of Cyclone Idai,” Mahere said.

“However, the Defence Forces’ 43 years of service have been undermined by partisan politics. We note with particular sadness the attempt to poison and politicize the Defence Forces for partisan purposes and repression,” she added.

Zanu PF has in the past been accused of subverting the will of the people through deployment of the army to squash protests.

During the 2018 post-election violence, the defence forces fired live bullets as part of efforts to displace protests and in the process killed some civilians.

“On this day of commemoration, we call on the Defence Forces to remember their constitutional mandate to the people of Zimbabwe.

“We ask that they 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. We reiterate our call for a Defence Forces for everyone,” said Mahere.