By Leopold Munhende
NATIONAL Patriotic Front and ex-President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire has urged the direct involvement of the country’s military in proposed national dialogue processes widely believed to be the panacea to the country’s myriad problems.
Zimbabwe’s military has been heavily embedded with Zanu PF politics and has, on many occasions been blamed for fixing the outcome of the country’s poll processes in the ruling party’s favour.
Mawarire was speaking at a dialogue meeting organised by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches in Harare earlier this week.
“We made a mistake in 2008 that we allowed political parties to dialogue on their own. We even left out the army,” Mawarire said of a process that saw arch-rivals, Mugabe and the now late Morgan Tsvangirai of MDC, form the now defunct government of national unity.
“I believe that what we need now is an inclusive dialogue process that includes the citizenry, that includes civil society and that includes the army because the problem in this country is the army.
“The army is the one that moved in and took over Zanu PF…the so-called ‘command element’ of the army moved in and have signed minutes that ‘we are moving in because we have realised that Zanu PF is going to lose the elections. So we are going to take over Zanu PF from Mugabe and those that support him’.
“So the army imposed someone (President Emmerson Mnangagwa) who had been chased away from Zanu PF, imposed him as the president and that person then called for an illegitimate election.
“I expect (Army Commander) General Valerio Sibanda to be among us here. I expect General Chiwenga in his full military gear, do not be fooled by hearing that he is the VP. No, he is a soldier, we expect (Foreign Affairs Minister) Sibusiso Moyo to be here in his full military gear and we begin to actually hear their concerns, why they moved to take over Zanu PF, why they moved to take over government.”
It was the Chiwenga led army’s Operation Restore Legacy that toppled Mugabe in dramatic fashion November 2017.
Mawarire, a passionate opponent to the ‘New Dispensation’, was on a panel that had former Cabinet Minister Paul Mangwana of Zanu PF, opposition MDC secretary for elections Jacob Mafume and Youth Assembly leader Obey Sithole.
MDC President Nelson Chamisa has refused to join Mnangagwa at a Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) called for by the Zanu PF leader.
Chamisa does not recognise Mnangagwa’s presidency and has argued that the veteran politician is part of the problems affecting the country, hence cannot call for a dialogue himself.
He has dismissed POLAD as a Kitchen Party.