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MDC-T says security forces must now return to their barracks if Mnangagwa really wants to walk his talk

The Movement for Democratic Change while welcoming the change of tone in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s language has called for a firm and unequivocal assurance that the security services, particularly the Zimbabwe National Army, “shall promptly be returning to their barracks and that never again will they play an active role in determining who rules the country”.

Party spokesman Obert Gutu said: “Henceforth, the security services should be confined to their duties as provided for in Section 212 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Put bluntly, the security services should never, ever be active political players going forward.”

He also welcomed the pledge by Mnangagwa, who was sworn in yesterday, to hold elections as scheduled saying the opposition was ready for those elections, but Mnangagwa must ensure that reforms necessary for free and fair elections are implemented.

“Electoral reforms that include complete and thorough de – politicisation of traditional leaders, should, thus, be promptly put in place in time for next year’s elections. That is the real acid test of the new President’s inauguration speech.

“Elections in Zimbabwe have been routinely rigged and manipulated in favour of the ruling party. Zanu PF has developed a notorious record of violence, thuggery and intimidation; particularly during electioneering times.

“Opposition political parties have been deliberately denied access to State – controlled print and electronic media and we honestly hope and trust that the Mnangagwa Presidency will usher in a more democratic and tolerant trajectory that firmly abides by all the dictates of the supreme law of the land.

“We now look forward to the creation of a policy framework that will, inter alia, create provincial and metropolitan councils, in tandem with the provisions of our national constitution.”

Full statement:

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