Mugabe rules out Chihuri re-think
by Gilbert Nyambabvu
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has ruled out further discussion of ZRP boss
Augustine Chihuri’s contract insisting that the appointment of security
services chiefs was his exclusive preserve as commander-in-chief.
Mugabe outraged his coalition partners when he unilaterally extended Chihuri’s
contract and reappointed defence forces chief General Constantine Chiwenga,
army commander Lieutenant-General Philip Valerio Sibanda as well as Air
Force of Zimbabwe Commander Perence Shiri.
Leaders of the MDC formations, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his
deputy Professor Arthur Mutambara disputed the appointments arguing Mugabe
could not make unilateral decisions under the terms of the Global Political
Mutambara and Tsvangirai later claimed that Mugabe had agreed to consult
them and review the appointments during a meeting of the coalition
But Mugabe who has not spoken publicly over the furore on Sunday scathingly
dismissed their complaints as the barking of dogs without any bite.
“Musha haungashaye zvinohukura zvirikure. Hazvirume imiwe! (Most homes have
their barking dogs. But they never bite),” Mugabe said in an interview with
the Sunday Mail.
“I don’t know why the appointment of security chiefs was being discussed.
How were they appointed in the first place? They continue to be appointed by
those who appointed them in the first place.
“This is an important issue to do with national security. It is an issue
that rests with the President only. The President is the Commander-in-Chief
of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.”
The MDC formations want the army and police bosses removed as part of a
broad reform of the top echelons of the country’s security services.
Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party, in particular, accuses security service chiefs of
brutalizing its supporters and helping subvert the will of the people in
elections to help keep Mugabe and his Zanu PF party in power.
Mugabe though, scoffed at the allegations, insisting there was no-one better
qualified for the crucial job of keeping the country secure.
Said the Zanu PF leader leader: “Do they (Tsvangirai and Mutambara) know the
meaning of defence forces?
“Just consider where they came from and then consider where we have come
from. Analyse, who has gone through the grill? Which ones are conversant
with war tactics? Which ones know how to handle a country and ward off the
“The commanders Chiwenga, Sibanda, Shiri, Chihuri, all four are part of the
cream from the warfront.
“Ask Tsvangirai to produce candidates of similar calibre. This is just talk,
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