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Zimbabwe now a military state: Chamisa

OPPOSITION MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has described Zimbabwe as a military state.

Chamisa said while a police State under former President Robert Mugabe was bad enough; things had become worse because the military has taken over.

“We have a problem; it’s bad enough to have a police State and when ED [President Emmerson Mnangagwa] came before elections after the November thing, he removed roadblocks, yet it was a decoy, he has even moved the country from a police State to a militarised State.

“We love our soldiers, we honour our soldiers; they are patriotic; but, honestly, why are politicians abusing our soldiers to draw them into issues that are not supposed to be theirs?” he asked, speaking to NewsDay on Friday.

The army has since, through Major-General Douglas Nyikayaramba, conceded that they had taken charge after protesters overran police stations.

“They (protesters) overran police stations, burnt police and public transport vehicles and also killed citizens, including a police officer. They broke into police armouries, stealing weapons and ammunition, which they used to kill people.

“Had the military not come in support of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, one wonders whether the whole country would not have been looted that day. The ZDF (Zimbabwe Defence Forces) however, regrets the loss of life which followed the unnecessary disturbances,” Nyikayaramba said, justifying military intervention.

But MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume dismissed Nyikayaramba, saying the deployment of soldiers was illegal.

“They are deploying the military not to assist the police, but to prop up Zanu PF, we have become a West African-style military dictatorship, if you remember the military dictatorships of West Africa, of the 1980s and 1990s where the army said that they have to intervene in all sphere’s of civilian life, command agriculture, command justice, command policing, command housing and everything else has to be done through a military dictatorship. It is a model that failed in West Africa and it is a model that will fail
in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Mafume said, in line with the Constitution, the army should only be deployed during an emergency or where police were unable to discharge their duties, not on a daily basis.

“The deployment of soldiers should be a process to assist the police, there should be an emergency or there should be a state were the police are now overwhelmed and cannot carry out their normal duties, it is not every day that soldiers are deployed, that is illegal,” he said. — Read more in NewsDay

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