By Staff Reporter
THE government has hit out at deputy finance minister Terrence Mukupe, accusing him of conduct in “direct contempt of President Emmerson Mnangagwa”.
Acting information minister and ruling Zanu PF party national spokesman Simon Khaya-Moyo charged Mukupe with imperilling national peace and stability with his reckless remarks.
Makupe was raped over the coals for claiming that the military would not allow MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa to takeover power if he wins crunch elections expected in July.
Addressing a party meeting in Harare Monday, the junior treasury minister reportedly said; “How can we say, honestly, the soldiers took the country, practically snatched it from Mugabe, to come and hand it over to Chamisa?
“A child talking about spaghetti roads, who is talking about impregnating all women?
“This country, where it is now and where it is coming from, needs a grown up, a steady hand, a person who can stabilise things.”
The remarks were immediately condemned by the opposition with Professor Welshman Ncube of the MDC Alliance saying;” … the statements by the civilian beneficiary of military rule are most unfortunate and should be withdrawn with immediate effect,” he admonished.
“This is clearly why we have been calling on the military element to withdraw the statements made by the late General Zvinavashe, Mukupe is just repeating the statements by that command, he is a pawn in the scheme of things.”
Minister Khaya Moyo was emphatic that Mukupe was own frolic of his own, making it clear that he was not speaking for the government or Zanu PF.
“ … both the ruling Zanu PF Party and its Government wish to make it very clear that the said sentiments attributed to the Deputy Minister, if true, are both reckless and most unfortunate, as they do not represent the official position and attitude of the Party, Government and the Defence Establishment.
“Apart from being unconstitutional and therefore against the laws of the land, the reported claims amount to direct contempt of His Excellency the President, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa, who is the sole Commander-in-Chief of the Zim babwe Defence Forces (ZDF).”
The minister’s reckless remarks appear to have alarmed a government wary of outraging the international community after coming to power on the back of a military coup only accepted because it toppled a leader loathed by powerful western nations.
Mnangagwa came to power last November after the military revolted against then president Robert Mugabe who had ruled the country since independence in 1980.
The Zanu PF leader has repeatedly assured locals and the international community that the July elections would be free and fair, adding he would hand-over power to the winner if he were to lose.
Khaya-Moyo accused Mukupe of putting in doubt that commitment by the president.
“Read against our own environment and the impending polls, such pronouncements have the negative effect of raising doubts on Government’s commitment to a free, fair and non-violent plebiscite, as well as to its readiness to respect and uphold the will of the People of Zimbabwe as expressed through their electoral choices and decisions.
“This is untrue, and flagrantly runs against what His Excellency the President, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa, has pledged and is determined to deliver both to the people of Zimbabwe and to the international community.
“Without regard to political party or affiliation, all campaigning candidates should respect the Defence Establishment and its Command Structure by avoiding embroiling our Unformed Forces into partisan party politics and activities.
The minister added; “The roles of the uniformed forces which are national and non-partisan, are clearly spelt out in the laws of the country.
“Consequently, any pronouncements which have the effect of undermining the supreme law of the land, and the authority of the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Force, or of suggesting that our well-respected Security Organs will act in a partisan manner in relation to the country’s politics, apart from being unauthorized, are unlawful, reckless, improper, uncalled for and thus totally condemnable.
“Besides, they imperil national peace and stability, and amount to a frontal challenge to the tenets and practices of democracy as understood and practised world-wide.”