THE claimed mastermind of the coup that toppled long time Zimbabwe’s longtime ruler Robert Mugabe has assured the country that the upcoming harmonised elections will be peaceful.
General (Rtd) Constantino Chiwenga, who is now the country`s vice president, was instrumental in toppling Mugabe after leading the military intervention codenamed, Operation Restore Legacy.
Mugabe was replaced Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former`s long-time aide and enforcer.
The country’s security services have long been accused of meddling in local politics and are believed to have a played a major role in Zanu PF retaining power in 2008 even after losing to the then Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T.
And with the elections on the horizon there is a lingering feeling that the army is likely to have a say on the outcome of the polls.
However, addressing party supporters in Zvishavane on Wednesday, Vice President Chiwenga assured the crowd that the elections will be above board.
“As we go for elections, these elections must be peaceful. They must be held in a peaceful environment, so we can achieve fairness,” declared Chiwenga.
“Violence is now a thing of the past, Zimbabwe has now come of age, we will never resort to violence during elections”.
Since assuming power in November last year, Mnangagwa`s administration has been working hard to sanitize the blood-stained Zanu PF image.
Chiwenga said President Mnangagwa was the only leader capable of turning around the country`s fortunes.
“There is no other leader who has the capacity to revive the country`s economy than Mnangagwa,” he said.
President Mnangagwa has been on a charm offensive to lure back investors especially from Europe who had turned their back on Zimbabwe during Mugabe`s rein.
In order to win the trust of the world`s superpowers and multinational companies Mnangagwa has promised free, fair and credible elections in July.
The president has also vowed to deal with the scourge of corruption which has permeated into every facet of society.