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Zimbabwe minister said to be in contempt of Mnangagwa

Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Finance, Terence Mukupe, who allegedly told a cell meeting in his Harare constituency on Monday that the military will not allow opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to rule this country, has been roundly condemned for saying that as this is in direct contempt of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Information Minister Simon Khaya Moyo said today “both the ruling ZANU-PF party and its government wish to make it very clear that the said sentiments attributed to the Deputy Minister, if true, are both reckless and most unfortunate, as they do not represent the official position and attitude of the party, government and the defence establishment”.

Mukupe was quoted by Newsday today as telling people in Mandara: “How can we say, honestly, the soldiers took the country, practically snatched it from Mugabe, to come and hand it over to Chamisa? A child talking about spaghetti roads, who is talking about impregnating all women?  This country, where it is now and where it is coming from, needs a grown up, a steady hand, a person who can stabilise things.”

Moyo said: “Apart from being unconstitutional and therefore against the laws of the land, the reported claims amount to direct contempt of His Excellency the President, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa, who is the sole Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF).

“Hardly a month ago, His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of ZDF warned against undermining the constitutional position of the Security Establishment through involving or dragging members of the Uniformed Forces into the country’s party electoral politics and/or activities.”

Moyo did not say what disciplinary action, if any, the party or the government will take against Mukupe who currently represents Harare East and is going to represent the party in that constituency in the forthcoming elections.

Webster Shamu, Provincial Affairs Minister for Mashonaland West was fired on Monday for interfering with party primary elections, which is quite insignificant compared to what Mukupe said.

Mnangagwa is trying to re-engage with the international community and has pledged to hold free, fair, credible and transparent elections.

He has also stated that he will step down if he loses the elections.

The opposition has been calling on the military to publicly state that they will recognise the will of the people if the opposition wins the elections.

Mnangagwa’s deputy Constantino Chiwenga who was previously Zimbabwe Defence Forces chief and spearheaded the military intervention that brought Mnangagwa to power at one time said that Zimbabwe would never be ruled by someone without liberation credentials.

The military first issued this threat in the run up to the 2002 presidential elections where Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai was challenging President Robert Mugabe.

Below is SK Moyo’s full statement:

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