New army boss General Philip Valerio Sibanda praised as retired General Chiwenga is BLASTED


MDC-T deputy chairperson, Morgan Komichi yesterday described the new military top brass as professional and people expected them to uphold the country’s Constitution, unlike their predecessors.

Addressing mourners at the late MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s Highlands home, Komichi said the newly-appointed commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Philip Valerio Sibanda, was professional unlike his predecessor, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, whom he said often “illegally dabbled in civilian politics”.

“Changes in the new dispensation brought about transformation in the security sector and that’s commendable, as these commanders are professionals and level-headed people,” he said.

Under former President Robert Mugabe’s regime, the MDC-T often complained of a partisan military top brass, which they said supported Zanu PF.

Komichi said this in the presence of a Zanu PF delegation led by party chairperson, Oppah Muchinguri, Zanu PF political commissar, Engelbert Rugeje, a retired army general, and spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo, who had gone to pay their condolences to Tsvangirai’s family.

The MDC-T deputy chairperson said in the forthcoming polls, the opposition expected no violence, as some of those who were known to be champions in fomenting violence were now responsible for building peace across the country.

“There was a time when we would meet as political opponents and people were being beaten. The new President has said that it is now a thing of the past. My uncle, Rugeje, you have a huge task that what used to happen long back does not happen again,” Komichi said.

“The issue of the military asking for serial numbers from those who have registered to vote using the BVR [biometric voter registration] and the violence in Bikita must end.

“There is need for removal of fear and intimidation in the electorate by proposing a national committee of MDC Alliance and Zanu PF to do party rallies denouncing violence as we go towards elections and this will help to boost regional and international confidence so as to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).”

Komichi said joint rallies would assist Zimbabwe gain international, national and regional confidence.

“This will also help us with the FDI that we want from international delegates,” he said.

In her address, Muchinguri described the late opposition leader as a true patriot, who worked for the new Constitution as well as provided checks and balances to the Zanu PF government.

She chronicled Tsvangirai’s political history dating back to the days he was in trade unionism up to the formation of the MDC in 1999, saying the former Prime Minister in the inclusive government sacrificed his personal life for peace.

– NewsDay

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