Defence Forces chief Constantine Chiwenga has admitted that politics leads the gun but said that the security forces will not allow anyone to jeopardize the security of the country.
Chiwenga’s remarks, though marking Defence Forces day today, appeared to be in answer to President Robert Mugabe’s call for the military to keep out of politics, a point that has also been raised by the First Lady and members of the ZANU-PF faction known as G40.
Chiwenga said every liberation fighter was taught that politics leads the gun, and that remains the case.
“In our training, when we were out there, from the time when we were juveniles, what people would call boy-soldiers, that is what we were taught,” he told The Herald. “And that is what we had to teach everyone.
“Remember, before anyone would be given a gun or would be taken to the range, you had to qualify, you had to pass what we called political orientation to understand why one has to train and why he has to hold a gun and the purpose of that gun.
“Before anyone can talk about that, it is clear to every man, woman and officer, whether we were in the liberation struggle, now in the free and independent Zimbabwe, know that the politics leads the gun. Not the other way!”
But Chiwenga added: “We are very clear where we think things or a person is not saying the correct thing, we will tell (them).
“Because it is our role to make sure that nobody causes conflict and confusion, which can then confuse people and make people fail to understand what is going on. Peace, stability and tranquillity is the key.
“If people are discussing, this is a democratic country. They will say whatever they want to say, they can talk, but there is a red line which can never be crossed.
“When one causes the country to be in turmoil, then you become an enemy of the State and an enemy of the people and we will tell you, no, you are overstepping, that is not the correct way.”
He also warned those abusing the social media: “We now see what is happening from afar. We have seen what is happening in the Middle East. Who is going to reconstruct these countries in the Middle East? You have seen shells blowing buildings, skyscrapers being brought down, women and children being killed, for what?
“That is what we will never want to see happen in Zimbabwe. No one can reverse the history of the country. It is our history for generations upon generations to come.
“And all what we want is posterity for future generations. Long when we are gone, we want to see a stable and economically prosperous Zimbabwe.”