The glue that had appeared to bind Zanu-PF after it got rid of ‘criminals’ around toppled despot Robert Mugabe seem to be peeling off a critical stages when President Emmerson Mnangagwa is about to test his popularity at the forthcoming polls after assuming the reins of power in December last year.
The resignation of retired brigadier general Ambrose Mutinhiri from both his constituency (Marondera West) and the party – a few weeks after Mugabe had briefed African Union (AU) Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat that his removal in November last year was ‘unconstitutional’ has exposed new fault lines within Zanu-PF.
A retired brigadier general, Mutinhiri said following the ‘coup’ Zanu-PF, the government, and state institutions had been “captured” by the military, which was a violation of the constitution of Zimbabwe.
“As a trained soldier, a former freedom fighter, a former ZIPRA commander during the liberation struggle, a former diplomat, and a former cabinet minister, I am too aware of not only the values and ethos of Zimbabwe’s armed liberation struggle and the subsequent role the founding commanders of the liberation envisaged for the national army in independent Zimbabwe, but also of the functions and limits of the ZDF as enshrined in the constitution of Zimbabwe authored through a people drive process and adopted after a national referendum as recent as 2013,” he said in the letter.
“The fundamental values and tenets of both Zimbabwe’s heroic liberation struggle and the constitution of Zimbabwe dictate that executive authority is derived from the people and not from the gun.
“In other words, the enduring principle of Zimbabwe’s armed liberation struggle and constitutional democracy is that politics must always lead the gun. The ZDF coup of November 15, 2017, violated a cherished heritage of our armed liberation struggle and of our hard-won constitutional democracy,” he wrote.
Mutinhiri argued that the November 15 events, which authorities called “a military intervention”, was a result of a few rogue elements in the command structure of the ZDF, who abused their positions to turn the guns they were entrusted with “by the people of Zimbabwe to defend our sovereignty, into weapons to shoot their way into national politics and to seize control of both the state and Zanu-PF”.
He also accused parliament of failing to uphold the Constitution of Zimbabwe by seeking “to be part of this shameless illegality”.