Published On: Sun, Nov 13th, 2016

Zimbabwe Military statement on Mugabe retirement

After so much stories have been published recently linking the army to the political crises in Zanu PF and the country at large, caused by the imminent departure of Mugabe and massive corruption in his party, the Zimbabwe National Army has decided to clear the air and make its position known regarding these matters.

Government officials who engage in corruption must be prepared to face prosecution in accordance with Zimbabwe’s laws and should not hide behind claims of political persecution, Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant-General Philip Valerio Sibanda has told reporters.

After it was reported last week that the army does not have any links with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as he does not influence the military in any way, the Army commander also said the military had no hand in Zanu-PF’s internal political issues and does get involved in succession struggles between rival factions trying to takeover when Mugabe leaves office.

Sibanda becomes the latest senior military officer to put his foot down on the matter of Mugabe succession, official sleaze and impropriety following allegations of corruption and abuse of office by senior Government officials, including Cabinet ministers.

President Mugabe wants to leave his party in order when he finally retires and has recently upped the ante against corruptiont, bringing the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission directly under direct supervision of his office last year.

Recently, Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri also condemned corruption, telling corrupt officials to man up and face the music. ZNA Chief-of-Staff Major-Gen Douglas Nyikayaramba also told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Security that corruption by senior Government officials was partly to blame for poor economic growth.

And yesterday Lt-Gen Sibanda said, “My take (on corruption) is no different from what my Commander-in-Chief has already said: Anyone who is involved in corruption should carry his own cross and that is our position as the military as well.”

On private media claims that the military was enmeshed in internal party matters, the Army commander said: “We are not playing any role (in politics).

“That field is for the political parties, in this particular case I guess you are talking about Zanu-PF. In Zanu-PF the military has no role to play in terms of succession politics, and that is the long and short of it.”

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