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Mugabe dishonest on army deployment

There are two things in Mugabe’s statement: Either he is admitting that he is now too old and can no longer control institutions that he is supposed to control, or he is speaking with a forked tongue, pretending to want peace, while when he goes to his party’s closed do meetings, he tells the Army Generals to deploy soldiers in the rural constituencies to intimidate ordinary villagers who are perceived to be supporters other than Zanu PF.

President Mugabe prides himself as the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe’s Defence Forces, and is therefore accountable for the violence taking place in the countryside. He should revisit his public admission that he is not always listened and accept the fact he is too old to control, and should therefore resign immediately if the country is to taste peace.

But probably he knows very well that he is capable of controlling his bloodythirsty generals, but deliberately wants to disguise his inner intentions by selling the world a dummy? Pro-democracy groups with access to SADC, the Africa Union and the United Nations should take this to these institutions as further evidence of Mugabe’s chicanery.

Very interestingly, Mugabe is the one who appoints army generals, and could fire the incompetent army generals if they cannot listen to his command not to deploy the army to intimidate and brutalise innocent peace-loving civilians. I have a relative who lives in Nyika in Bikita who tells me the army has been terrorising people in Bikita telling them that they will be killed if the MDC wins in that area again. Is Mugabe not aware of the deployment of armed forces into the rural areas to intimidate the electorate ahead of the elections? His statement betrays him – he is fully aware of this, and simply says he is not always listened to.

But the people of Zimbabwe should have the last say: here is a candidate for election as president, who admits he is too old to control. Vote him out at the next opportunity. All forces opposed to dictatorship: political parties, civic society, and the pro-democracy African diplomatic missions in Zimbabwe, Asian and Western diplomats based in Zimbabwe must confront Mugabe on this irresponsible behaviour.

We don’t want the ugly violent scenes that the country has experienced of late.

Zimbabweans, next year’s elections presents the golden opportunity to end your perennial problems, kick Mugabe out, because if you don’t, a more wicked dictator will take over from Mugabe if we give him another chance. Let him convincingly lose the ballot, to the extent that even South Africa who seem to secretly admire and support him will be left with no option but to  openly tell him to accept defeat and pack his bags and leave State House.

Benjamin Chitate
New Zealand

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