GOVERNMENT yesterday described as “reckless, unlawful and contemptuous” the recent statement by Finance deputy minister Terrence Mukupe that the military would not allow MDC-T presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa to rule if he wins this year’s polls.
Mukupe, who is Zanu PF parliamentary candidate for Harare East, made the remarks at a campaign meeting in the constituency on Monday.
In a statement, acting Information minister Simon Khaya Moyo said Mukupe’s statement was unconstitutional and contemptuous of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office.
“Apart of being unconstitutional and, therefore, against the laws of the land, the reported claims amount to direct contempt of His Excellency, President Mnangagwa, who is the sole Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,” part of the statement read.
Moyo said the statement had the effect of impugning the elections even before they happen.
“Consequently, any pronouncements, which have the effect of undermining the supreme law of the land, and the authority of the Commander-in-Chief of Zimbabwe Defence Forces or suggesting that our well-respected security organs will act in a partisan manner in relation to the country’s politics, apart from being unauthorised, are unlawful, reckless, improper, uncalled for and thus totally condemnable,” the statement said.
“Besides, they imperil national peace and stability, and amount to a frontal challenge to the tenets and practices of democracy as understood and practised world-wide.”
Foreign Affairs minister Lt-Gen (Rtd) Sibusiso Moyo said while he had not yet verified the statements Mukupe made, there was a commitment by the Mnangagwa-led government to deliver a free and fair election which is credible.
“The policy of this new dispensation is that we want free, fair elections, credible elections and we want elections that are going to stabilise this country,” he said.
“We believe that this new dispensation is the answer to people’s cry for stability, is the answer to the people for re-engagement and for the end of isolation and for economic growth, which then is going to result in job creation.”
United Kingdom deputy ambassador to Zimbabwe, Simon Thomas on his Twitter account said, as a confidence-building measure, it was important for all parties to pledge to abide by the constitution.
“A reminder of why putting a free and fair election in the front and centre of international engagement is so crucial. Vital that all parties confirm they will accept the results of a credible election. Getting the military to confirm they’d accept this too would be a hugely positive move,” he said.