By Tichaona Sibanda
26 April 2013
Giles Mutsekwa, the MDC-T’ secretary for Defence and Security, has said his exchange of views with the country’s top military brass in recent meetings have been very productive.
Mutsekwa, a retired army major, confirmed meeting the Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and leading military securocrats, Major-General Martin Chedondo and chief of staff and quartermaster Major-General, Douglas Nyikayaramba.
He told SW Radio Africa on Friday that his meetings had been planned for months and were tied to the holding of harmonized elections in the near future.
‘I have met some of the military chiefs but not all of them. This is a process and I’m hopeful that very soon, I will be able to meet with the rest of the service chiefs,’ he said.
The military brass has a long history of involvement in the country’s politics. Before each election in the last decade the self-appointed defenders of Robert Mugabe have said they will not allow the ZANU PF leader to be defeated in a poll.
Solomon Chikohwero, a retired airforce officer and former intelligence chief of the MDC-T, told us that with an election looming the generals are not certain or convinced Mugabe will retain power. Such meetings are inevitable as the military brass look at the possibility of ZANU PF losing an election and what that would mean for their future.
‘Even the most hard-core defenders of ZANU PF will want to sit down and discuss their concerns should there be a change of government. What is certain however is that if Tsvangirai wins the poll, the generals will have a choice to make? Its either they salute and agree to work under him or resign.
‘Also while the majority of the generals might not agree to work under Tsvangirai, I don’t think they lose anything by listening to what they may offer in case the MDC wins the elections.
Chikohwero said these worrying times for the service chiefs who have so loyally saved Mugabe and ZANU PF for over three decades. Suddenly they realise things may be different in the future.