ZANU PF acting political commissar Patrick Chinamasa says the ruling party was not ready yet to surrender what he said was an unbreakable bond with the country’s military.
He was addressing the media at the party headquarters in Harare Thursday.
“Always be mindful that there is this unbreakable continuity between the liberation struggle and Zanu PF… between the armies of liberation ZIPRA and ZANLA, and the national army of independence.
“Thus, any notion which seeks to break this bond should be rejected outrightly,” he said.
Chinamasa was referring to the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA), the then military wing of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) and the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) which was the military wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU).
Both the liberation combatant forces merged at independence to form the Zimbabwe National Army while the political liberation movements also merged in 1987 to form Zanu PF.
The relationship between Zanu PF and the military has been condemned by the opposition after commanders within the armed forces have in the past brazenly thrown spanners in the wake of the main MDC party’s election campaigns.
The national constitution also says the country’s military should be apolitical.
But Chinamasa, who once served as the country’s justice minister, said there was nothing amiss with the ruling party’s cosy relationship with the military.
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“The relationship speaks for itself,” Chinamasa said, adding, “I don’t need to explain.”
“Who are the commanders of the army? Who is the Commander of Zimbabwe Defence Forces? Comrade Valerio Sibanda, who was he? A leading general in ZIPRA.
“Who is the Commander of Zimbabwe National Army? Comrade Edzai Chimonyo. A leading commander in ZANLA. Now that culture of defending the sovereignty of this country will continue.
“It comes from the liberation struggle, and it will be perpetuated into the future. That is the link.”
Zimbabwe’s military, then under current Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who was its commander, blocked the now late former opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai from assuming office even when there were claims the once popular politician had defeated then incumbent Robert Mugabe in the 2008 elections.
The same military would return 2017 to stage a coup against Mugabe whom it replaced with the now incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa.