‘Chihuri must go’
By Tonderai Kwenda
HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has demanded the removal of
security chiefs, notably police commissioner general Augustine Chihuri and
army commander Constantine Chiwenga, before the country’s next elections.
The Daily News is in possession of the MDC’s position paper, which is being
pushed through the Sadc-led negotiations – and highlights how Chihuri and
Chiwenga’s continued stay would undermine both the credibility of future
elections as well as the country’s stability.
The reform of the security sector is one of the key outstanding issues of
the Global Political Agreement (GPA). It has stalled further progress in
the bedding down of an election roadmap, with President Robert Mugabe
describing demands for changes within the security sector as “nonsensical”.
Tsvangirai and political analysts say securocrats are the real power behind
Mugabe and Zanu PF – hence the refusal by the Zanu PF leader to reform the
In the meantime, Sadc appointed mediator, South African President Jacob Zuma
is pressuring GPA negotiators to expedite and conclude their talks on an
election roadmap that would usher in the much anticipated elections.
“The current leadership in the security sector has in the past shown that
they are partisan. In our view, the best way to realign the security sector
is to retire at the very minimum the Commissioner-General of Police
Augustine Chihuri and the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)
General Constantine Chiwenga,” the MDC’s policy document states.
Alternatively, Tsvangirai’s party demands, the security chiefs should, at
the very minimum, issue a public statement unequivocally stating that they
would uphold the constitution and support the will of the people if they
were to remain in their positions.
Tsvangirai also wants to receive full security briefs, similar to those
given to Mugabe regularly by security chiefs – if confidence in the security
sector was to be engendered across political divides.
The MDC says its demand for security sector reforms, contained in its
10-page document, is in reaction to the security chiefs’ previous actions,
which allegedly include leading “an orgy of violence” against MDC
Security chiefs have in the past publicly stated that they are unwilling to
salute or take instruction anyone other than Mugabe and other Zanu PF
leaders. Chihuri has also publicly and controversially stated his allegiance
to Zanu PF on several occasions.
The MDC position paper also demands the retirement of other perceived Zanu
PF functionaries such as Attorney General (AG) Johannes Tomana and Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono.
In addition, the premier’s party wants ministers responsible for the
security portfolios, such as defence, home affairs, state security and
justice, to report to Tsvangirai’s office at policy implementation and
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