THE Democratic Opposition Party (DOP) has called on the country’s military commanders to guarantee Zimbabweans that they will allow a smooth transfer of power in the event that the ruling Zanu PF party loses the upcoming polls.
Addressing journalists in Bulawayo on Wednesday, DOP leader Harry Peter Wilson said as opposition, they were worried that after “tasting power’ in last November’s military intervention where they forced former President Robert Mugabe to step down, the military’s top brass might be tempted to resist an opposition victory.
“We have a huge task before us. They have tasted power and enjoyed how sweet it is,” he said.
“As DOP, we feel we are headed for troubled times if, therefore, there are no guarantees that they will then accept defeat and allow a smooth transfer of power to the opposition.
“They refused in 2008 after Mugabe lost (to the now late MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai), and now since they are in power, is there any guarantee that they will not repeat the same?”
In 2008, Tsvangirai won the first round of the presidential race against Mugabe, but failed to garner enough votes to claim outright victory, forcing him into a re-run election where he eventually pulled out in protest over the prosecution of his supporters by Zanu PF militias.
“The President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) has been clear that the country is open for business, and as DOP, we are saying he should also go further to promise that he will not do a Mugabe on us and refuse to go if he loses the presidential vote,” Wilson added.
Mnangagwa and MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa — currently touted as front runners in the presidential race – have both expressed confidence of posting resounding victories in the upcoming elections.