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MDC welcomes return of the military to the barracks, calls on police to be professional

The Movement for Democratic Change has welcomed the announcement that the military are returning to their barracks and police will now be in charge of law and order in the county.

The withdrawal was announced by the Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army Lt General Valerio Sibanda who was today promoted to a full general and to Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

The former commander General Constantino Chiwenga retired from the military and could be appointed one of the two vice-presidents.

Sibanda has been replaced by Lt General Edzai Chimonyo.

The police are also under a new chief following the going on leave pending retirement of former boss Augustine Chihuri.

Chihuri was replaced by Godwin Matanga.

The MDC said it hoped that the police will continue to effectively and competently discharge their constitutional mandate of maintaining law and order “in our beloved motherland”.

It called upon the police “to be professional at all times and not to resort to intimidation, bribe – taking and all other forms of malfeasance.

“Zimbabweans are a peace–loving people who shouldn’t be unnecessarily subjected to unjustified harassment by members of the law enforcement agencies,” the party said.

It also called on the Zimbabwe Defence Forces not to operate as political activists of any political party, including the ruling party.

“The perception that Zimbabwe is now being run by the military doesn’t augur well for our country’s political stability and socio – economic development,” the MDC said.

“As such, recent utterances by Chris Mutsvangwa to the effect that the Defence Forces and traditional leaders will assist ZANU-PF to campaign in the forth–coming elections are most unfortunate and thoroughly misplaced.

“Members of the security services are bound by the Constitution not to operate as political activists of any political party, including the ruling party.”

Mutsvangwa is President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s special advisor.

He was initially appointed Information Minister but this was reversed after Mnangagwa had appointed more ministers than is permitted by the law.

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