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Security sector reform crucial to change

The coming elections, whether they are held this year or not, are going to determine the future of this great nation which has suffered greatly under the leadership  of Zanu PF for the past three decades. As we all desire a peaceful, prosperous and tolerant  nation, let us contribute positively towards dismantling intolerance, misrule and tyranny.

 

History is made by those who rise to the occasion for the good of humankind. For the past 10 years, the people of Zimbabwe have been fighting for change. While the ultimate goal is yet to be achieved, it should be emphasised that a lot of progress has been made towards the “change” which this great nation deserves.

Credit should go to the determined people of Zimbabwe and their vehicle for change — MDC, under the stewardship of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Indeed, leading this formidable MDC party since its inception has not been easy for Tsvangirai. The man has suffered persecution, prosecution and even physical attack through and through, but he is still standing where he was after the first MDC congress — at the helm of his party.

The biggest achievement of the MDC under the leadership of its president Tsvangirai was in 2008 when for the first since 1980, Zanu PF lost the majority in parliament. As if that was not bad enough, its presidential candidate Mugabe, lost to Tsvangirai of MDC in the same elections.

With all this in mind, what needs to be done to deliver the final punch to Zanu PF and its arrogance? I would like to look at this from two perspectives.

Firstly, it is a fact that security forces all over the world have a pivotal role to play towards the quest for freedom. It is expected of them to discharge their constitutional duties impartially. The security forces should never be used by any political party, for they are not in any way an extension of political parties, but protectors of the nation. Political parties come and go but security forces will always be there to serve the people.

Brave men and women within the security forces have been known to side with the people, especially during periods of political strife. The Egypt uprising is a sterling example.

The security forces need to set the rules of conduct for the political parties especially on the issue of campaigning. They are crucial for handover and takeover of political power. They maintain order and protect the territorial integrity of our nation.

Without the support of these national institutions, such as the armed forces, Zanu PF as a political party would not last a day.

No one should threaten not to leave power if defeated at elections. The security forces should make a public statement to the effect that they would accept and support whoever  is voted for as president.

Mamuse Maunganidze

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