PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai pressed President Robert Mugabe this week to impress on the country's generals to accept a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) victory in the forthcoming polls to avoid a possible bloodbath reminiscent of the 2008 polls that eventually gave birth to the coalition government.
The country's generals have been extensively quoted in various media outlets vowing they would not respect the will of the people if Prime Minister Tsvangirai romped to victory in fresh polls President Mugabe wants held this year.
The statements, which are in contravention of both the Constitution and the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that paved the way for the formation of the inclusive government in 2009, have riled ZANU-PF's rivals and the international community.
The GPA, which is part of the country's Constitution after being enacted as amendment number 19 states that State organs and institutions do not belong to any political party and should be impartial in the discharge of their duties.
During a principals meeting held on Mon-day, the premier impressed on President Mugabe that holding an election with the military threatening to seize power would be a treasonous act that would destabilise the country saying the Pres-ident, as the commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, has a duty to clip their wings.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara is in agreement with the premier that the generals must be confined to the barracks, according to sources.
But there was however, no consensus on the issue as President Mugabe argued strongly that security sector reforms were not necessary. His party, ZANU-PF has also refused to embrace security sector reforms, claiming this was tantamount to allowing regime change to take effect.
The issue of the implementation of agreed issues under the GPA such as media reforms and finalisation of the constitution-making also came up for discussion during the meeting.
Sources said the MDC-T leader is desperate to find common ground with his long time rival ahead of the envisaged visit by South African President Jacob Zuma who is facilitating the local dialogue under the aegis of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Zuma is under pressure from SADC to push the parties towards implementing reforms to pave the way for an uncontested poll by June next year.
SADC is also concerned with the military's involvement in politics.
Last month, Major-General Trust Mugoba became the latest serviceman to ruffle political feathers when he said the army would not allow the MDC-T to take over power if it wins an election as it does not represent the ideology of the liberation struggle that he claimed is represented in the mission of ZANU-PF.
The MDC-T has argued that the utterances are proof enough that the country must institute security sector reforms before any poll.
While presidential spokesman George Charamba could not be reached for comment, the Prime Minister's spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed the high level meeting, but declined to give details.
"What I can only confirm is that yes the principals met," said Tamborinyoka.
Last Wednesday, Tsvangirai told the House of Assembly that he had minutes that showed a senior police officer had told members of the force that the inclusive government does not affect the force as there is no inclusivity in the police force.
The top officer allegedly told his subordinates that the force belongs to ZANU-PF.
"Now, for me, I think it will be against the principle of running a free and credible election if such an attitude becomes the norm because at the end of the day, why go to an election if people make that declaration," Tsvangirai told the House of Assembly.
"I want to say that I think one of the serious reforms that is required is the re-alignment of our security establishment to respect the will of the people, to respect the security of the vote, to respect the security of the persons and of course to respect the mandate of the people. Otherwise there is no reason why we should go for elections; to me this is a deal breaker."
Tsvangirai's statements came weeks after Mutambara also told legislators that security sector reforms remained on the agenda of the current talks.
Mutambara said security realignment was necessary in order for the securocrats to respect the Constitution and eradicate issues of politically-motivated violence in which the force has been fingered.