24 October 2012

Zimbabwe: Coup Plot Rattles PM

Photo: DanieVDM
Military artillery: A Denel G6-45 155 mm howitzer.

PRIME Minister (PM) Morgan Tsvangirai appears to have been rattled by increasing talk of a coup should he outpoll President Robert Mugabe's in next year's harmonised elections.

For a decade now, the country's security sector establishment has threatened to block the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) leader from taking the reins of power should he succeed in breaking ZANU-PF's grip on power.

The Global Political Agreement (GPA) which paved the way for the inclusive government had, as one of its deliveries, the objective of creating a non partisan force, but that has remained a pipedream.

The country's service chiefs have vowed never to salute PM Tsvangirai or recognise his government should any poll outcome be favourable to the MDC-T leader, accused of being a puppet of the west.

Of late, even the premier's backers have started questioning his leadership credentials in the face of evident flaws in his character and judgment.

In yet another testament revealing the disquiet in the security sector over his candidature is nagging him, the PM on Tuesday, said the making of a new constitution shows that people were opposed to the military dabbling in politics.

ZANU-PF is currently pushing for the reversal of security sector reforms captured in the Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee draft. The draft proposes an Act of Parliament governing the conduct of the country's intelligence agency so that they do not dabble in politics.

"As a nation, this exercise underpins our belief in constitutionalism and the rule of law. It is evidence that we wish to set guidelines on how people should be governed.

"It reflects our wish for legitimate governments that work in accordance with the rule of law. We cannot therefore be in contradiction with ourselves by preaching a coup or a military subversion of the people's will," said Tsvangirai.

"This process shows that as a nation we have chosen constitutionalism and not militarism; and therefore our deportment, our utterances, our demeanour must exhibit the higher values of chastity and democracy that we aspire for our country."

President Mugabe has not publicly sanctioned security chiefs for their utterances.

Recently, Justice and Legal Affairs Minister, Patrick Chinamasa reiterated service chiefs' position that the MDC-T would not be allowed to take over power should it emerge victorious in the next election.

Ironically, Chinamasa was a member of the GPA negotiating team that agreed on the need for a non partisan force.

Interestingly, ZANU-PF apologist, Tafataona Mahoso, this week censured Chinamasa, arguing that the senator's actions could arm western powers in their alleged plot to intervene militarily in Zimbabwe.

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