ZANU PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa, who is also national chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, has said there is no need for security sector reforms in Zimbabwe as “our army is the best.”
The opposition has been pushing for security sector reforms accusing state security departments of being biased toward the ruling party.
Addressing a ZANU PF Press conference in Harare last Friday, Mutsvangwa pledged war veterans’ support to the ruling party. NewsDay Zimbabwe quotes him as saying:
We are delighted as war veterans; we are going to make sure that we support you (ZANU PF). We are also aware that we have a very proud umbilical connection to our friends in the armed forces. We have the best army in the world. We have remained there to make sure that we have the best army in the world. We are always conscious of the role they are playing in defending our nation and making sure that we keep the enemies at bay.
We will not brook those who say there must be security sector reforms, our army is the best. We want to send a very strong warning to the opposition that the boys and girls are back in town.
Zimbabwe National Army spokesperson Colonel Alphios Makotore yesterday refused to comment on Mutsvangwa’s claims. Makotore said:
Mutsvangwa is a politician, therefore, the army does not comment on political issues.
In past elections, the army and war veterans have been accused of helping sustain ZANU PF rule through violence against members of the opposition and civilians.
Army generals are on record stating that they will never salute any president without liberation war credentials.
The army’s top leadership is composed of former fighters in the liberation struggle or those closely related to war veterans and political elites.
Some military men retire and join ZANU PF as politicians. These include Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who was at the helm of the army when the late former president Robert Mugabe was ousted in 2017.