VICE President Kembo Mohadi has dismissed claims by some opposition parties that the Zanu-PF Government is under the control of the military and will use the army to resist handing over power in the event that the party loses the forthcoming harmonised elections.
In an interview with The Chronicle yesterday, VP Mohadi said Zanu-PF draws its mandate from the people through the ballot box and would accept any outcome of the polls.
“Zanu-PF is not run by the military and we are not in the barracks. Of course, President Emmerson Mnangagwa is a trained soldier, I am a trained soldier and VP (Constantino) Chiwenga is also a trained soldier because that was our generation. We all went to war because it was a requirement then to go and fight but you can’t then say we are a military Government because we have all since retired from the military,” he said.
“Zanu-PF is not the one that has the power but the power lies with the people of Zimbabwe and if the people vote us out they would have rejected us. If you lose an election you would have lost and if you win you would have won. It’s simple as that”.
VP Mohadi said Operation Restore Legacy, which culminated in the new dispensation, had the blessings of Zimbabweans who took to the streets calling for the former President Robert Mugabe to relinquish power.
“Zimbabwe has never experienced any coup. You call us a junta government and I don’t know what you mean because if you are talking of Operation Restore Legacy, it was not the army that took over, there was an uprising by the people and everyone was saying Mugabe must go, Parliament equally said Mugabe must go and those are the people that removed him from power,” he said.
The VP said the army did not force Mr Mugabe to resign.
“It was not the army. If it were the army they would have arrested him (Mr Mugabe). He is at his house with his family and everything is going on well.
“He was never molested and I don’t know where you are getting these ideas that we are a junta government,” he said.
Mr Mugabe convened a Press conference in March to a selected group of local and foreign media organisations and claimed that he was “unconstitutionally” deposed through a coup despite resigning ahead of imminent impeachment on November 21 last year.
He further claimed he was ready to talk to President Mnangagwa to right what he claimed was an “illegality.”
Mr Mugabe resigned after the military intervened to arrest a fast deteriorating socio-economic and political environment in the country, which naturally triggered the elevation of Cde Mnangagwa, who by then had been elected as Zanu-PF’s First Secretary by the ruling party’s Central Committee, to the highest office in the land.
VP Mohadi said the nation is now focusing on preparing for free, fair and credible elections.
He also dismissed claims by the opposition MDC-T and its partners in the Alliance that Zanu-PF has planned to rig the outcome of the watershed plebiscite.
“I don’t know what rigging is all about just as good as I don’t how losing an election is all about. If the opposition is talking about Zanu-PF losing or rigging I don’t know how they arrived at that conclusion. How do we rig an election which is run by an independent body?” he asked.
“Zec (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) is independent and there is no Zanu-PF member there who will be rigging elections in its favour.”
VP Mohadi said Zanu-PF and the opposition under the Constitution Parliamentary Committee (Copac), which was mandated with drawing up a new constitution for Zimbabwe by the Government of National Unity between 2009 and 2013, agreed to come up with an independent electoral body.
“If the opposition has issues pertaining to elections, Zec is there to verify what they don’t understand. We don’t run elections as Zanu-PF. How do we rig something that we don’t run? We are equal participants like them,” said the VP.
Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba said this year’s elections cannot be rigged as the country’s voting system is foolproof.
She said the fact that the system is tamper-proof should ensure a free, fair and credible election that could not be rigged.
Zec has acquired a 100 percent secure Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system.
BVR is a new voter registration system which captures an individual’s biometric features and ensures nobody can vote twice.
Justice Chigumba said members of the public with evidence that the voting system could be interferred with should bring it forward.
MDC-T leader Adv Nelson Chamisa recently told a rally in Nyanga that if the MDC Alliance did not win the coming elections that would be proof the ruling party had rigged them. He, however, failed to substantiate his claims.
President Mnangagwa has repeatedly assured the world that the harmonised elections, expected to be held in July this year, would be free, fair and credible.
The Government has invited observers from all over the world to see for themselves, with President Mnangagwa declaring repeatedly that “Zimbabwe has nothing to hide”.
Western countries like the United Kingdom and United States that were barred by the previous administration have also been invited this year, including Commonwealth representatives.
Opposition activists and Government critics, most notably fugitive former Cabinet Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, have resorted to referring to the ruling party as Junta PF on social media.
The move is apparently meant to lay a foundation for a protest based on army interference if Zanu Pf wins the elections.