Retired officer threatens Tsvangirai
A retired senior army officer has threatened unspecified action against
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and others calling for a reform of Zimbabwe’s
partisan security sector.
by Vusimusi Bhebhe
Threatening to “inflict doom” on anyone pushing for the realignment of the
security sector, retired Brigadier General Benjamin Mabenge said at the
weekend that the “retired officers’ corps” would meet this month to decide
the course of action against those demanding security sector reform.
“The retired officers’ corps will be meeting within the next 14 days to
consider the options,” Mabenge told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
during the live broadcast of the hero’s burial of former army commander
Tsvangirai and other leaders of the two MDC formations are pushing for
reforms of the security sector to ensure that members of the army do not
meddle in political issues.
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) is resisting the proposed reforms,
describing them as a Western move to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.
“I want to warn whoever is making such careless suggestions that this is the
time to inflict doom on the enemy. It is not for us to tell them what we
will do but for them to guess,” Mabenge said.
The retired army officer has a history of violence and causing mayhem in the
Midlands. Between 2000 and 2007, under the protection of Zanu (PF) strongman
and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mabenge left a trail of broken
bones among MDC-T activists.
He allegedly killed MDC-T activist Clemence Takaendesa in Kwekwe four years
ago following a shooting incident while the activist was fishing near the
retired officer’s farm.
He also reportedly burned down the MDC-T offices in Kwekwe and other houses
belonging to leading party activists in 2007.
In 2000, Mabenge allegedly led a group of youths that doused Kwekwe Member
of Parliament Blessing Chebundo with petrol, but he escaped death by a
whisker when he grabbed one of his attackers.
This prevented him from being set on fire because the attacker would have
been burned in the process.
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