Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August 9, 2016
Opinion & Analysis

THERE is something very instructive about the sentiments expressed by the Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Constantino Chiwenga in an interview he had with our sister paper The Sunday Mail, sentiments he repeated again somewhere in this paper.

At a time when the country is assailed by all manner of mischief from within and outside the ruling Zanu-PF party — some of which mischief chance on becoming a national security concern — the General said all the right things at the right time.

He even afforded us a bit of mirth.

First and foremost we took note of how Gen Chiwenga put some overzealous and unscrupulous individuals purporting to be war veterans in their proper place.

On a “communiqué” attributed to war veterans which claimed liberation fighters had withdrawn their support for President Mugabe, Gen Chiwenga said a few rogue elements could not tarnish the broader collective.

He said some of these individuals claiming to have fought the war came nowhere near the battle front, but were, in his words, in refugee camps or cleaners.

It is a fact that a lot of noise has issued from some people who claim to be war veterans and they have even gone on to purport to withdraw support from President Mugabe and the ruling party, Zanu-PF.

So, Gen Chiwenga put it on record that the war veterans had been infiltrated by elements bent on fomenting chaos.

The lack of discipline in the ranks of the leadership of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association and the unconscionable acts that have lately been made in the name of war veterans, including the treasonable communiqué, trains an eye on just how the body of war veterans has been infiltrated and thus in dire need of cleansing.

Real cadres know discipline.

But then, does it not confirm our fears when we are told by Gen Chiwenga that a simple look at the leadership of the war veterans association showed none of them were members of the General Staff or High Command during the liberation struggle? The General Staff were like the middle management, overseeing matters on the ground, and reported to the High Command.

The second important thing that the General touched on is the value of democracy and the observance of the same in Zimbabwe.

He trashed some quarters seeking to precipitate a crisis in the country, including agitating the closure of the country’s borders.

That is nonsense, he said, which is what many ordinary people have been saying.

It does not take a genius to see that the kind of mischief coming from the many shades of protesters and vigilantes is only a result of people who are either too bored with their lives and want something exciting or are trying to rescue the cause of the opposition that has failed to win the electorate over.

It is of course a wrong way to do things in a democratic nation like ours. And it would interest all and sundry that not everyone will sit and watch the country being dragged out of its constitutional order for the sake of lost political causes.

The essence of democracy is that those wishing to take power go to the people and are elected into office. Those that seek to subvert this will find themselves marooned, at best and at worst feeling the coercion of the machinery that is trained and mandated to keep order in the country.

That is a simple enough proposition.

On the main, we agree with Gen Chiwenga’s sentiment that the nation should concentrate on development issues instead of brewing unnecessary chaos. That is what everyone should do.

We are all tired of these little dramas and sideshows that distract our attention from the real issues of development and the job at hand. Those that do not share this vision should just shut up.

Mischief making will not get us anywhere — least of all our developmental Promised Land.

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