Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda says he will talk to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to regularise the deployment of soldiers who are now working with the police across the country.
This was after Movement for Democratic Change chief whip Innocent Gonese pointed out that while the national constitution allowed for members of the defence forces to be deployed in defence of the country, or in support of the Police Service in the maintenance of public order or in support of the Police Service and other civilian authorities in the event of an emergency or a disaster, this had to be done by the President as commander-in-chief of the defence forces.
This had not been done in the present case.
“Whilst the President has the authority to deploy the Defence Forces, I believe that when this happens, there is an obligation by the President, as Commander-in-Chief to inform the nation and from my recollection we have not been informed by the President himself of the need for the deployment of the Defence Forces,” Gonese said.
“I have no problem Mr. Speaker Sir, if that is done in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. My worry is that at this point in time, and because that deployment specifically must be authorised by the Head of State.
“I believe Mr. Speaker Sir, that this is not something which must be done willy-nilly – it is something which must be done after due consideration. In that regard, the nation should be informed from the highest office in the land and this does not seem to have happened.
“What we have had Mr. Speaker, there are pronouncements which have been made by members of the Defence Forces and members of the Police Force jointly but I believe that, if we are to follow the dictates of our Constitution, it is imperative that the Head of State informs the nation of the need to have the Police Force to be assisted by the Defence Forces.”
Mudenda said he would talk to the President and report back.
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