Tsvangirai ‘shocked’ at Nyikayaramba’s promotion

February 7, 2012 at 9:17 am Leave a comment

By Tichaona Sibanda

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has revealed that the promotion of
Brigadier-general Douglas Nyikayaramba to Major-General left him ‘shocked
and saddened.’

In June last year, Nyikayaramba, then a 3 Brigade commander in Mutare before
his latest promotion, made headline news when he described Tsvangirai as a
national security threat.

He told the state controlled Herald that: “Tsvangirai doesn’t pose political
threat in any way in Zimbabwe, but is a major security threat.”

The controversial comments by Nyikayaramba came after Tsvangirai had urged
army generals to resign and run for political office instead of making
intimidating statements.

Last week, the Prime Minister wrote a letter to Robert Mugabe, at which he
sought to reflect on the state of the inclusive government, particularly in
the last year.

The memorandum, dated 2 February 2012 and which has been leaked to the state
media, raises a number of critical issues that Tsvangirai needs the
principals to address. SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that the Prime
Minister raised most of the issues contained in the letter with Mugabe
during their first principals meeting of 2012 on Monday.

“The agenda of the meeting was basically to discuss issues raised in that
letter, which was unfortunately leaked to the state media by Mugabe’s
officials,” an aide to the Prime Minister said.

The MDC President, who is currently using crutches after he sprained one of
his ankles during a recent round of golf, took Mugabe to task over security
sector reforms.

This is evident in the letter to Mugabe last week regarding the appointment
and promotion of service chiefs and other security personnel. Tsvangirai
reminded Mugabe that the amended constitution requires that all appointments
have to be done in consultation with the Prime Minister.

There was speculation over the weekend that Mugabe was to re-appoint
Augustine Chihuri as Commissioner-General after his contract expired on 31st
January. Despite media reports to the contrary, Chihuri has not yet been
reappointed although this is expected soon.

Meanwhile, it is the promotion of Nyikayaramba following his verbal outburst
against Tsvangirai that has appeared to irk the Premier most.

His letter to Mugabe reads in part: “It was with a sense of shock and
profound sadness that I learnt through the press in December that you had
promoted Brigadier-general Nyikayaramba to the rank of Major General, barely
six months after he had committed what can be at very least described as a
serious act of misconduct.”

He added: “The impression that his promotion creates in the minds of the
public is that not only do you condone the statements that he made in June
2011, but that you have also rewarded him for making them. This inevitably
undermines the inclusive government.”

South African based political analyst Mutsa Murenje told SW Radio Africa
that the Prime Minister is justified to seek answers from Mugabe’s
unilateral actions though he remains powerless to stop him.

“Constitutionally, the Prime Minister’s work in the unity government is
greatly impeded by a system that gives Mugabe too many powers even in a
transitional government,” Murenje said.

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