VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga has declared that the military would not carry out another intervention similar to Operation Restore Legacy which saw former President Robert Mugabe being forced out of government last November.
Responding to questions during a public lecture on the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo at the University of Zimbabwe yesterday, Chiwenga, who led last year’s military intervention as Zimbabwe Defence Commander, said the military would never intervene in politics again.
“What mechanisms are we putting in place to avoid a recurrence (of Operation Restore Legacy) now? There will not be a recurrence, let me assure you… we had created a situation which was bad for ourselves and that will not happen again,” he said.
Chiwenga said Operation Restore Legacy happened because constitutional power had been usurped by non-State actors and the economy had been allowed to collapse.
“… note that even if we were under sanctions, we could have done something … people were not sure of what tomorrow would hold for them. There was no policy consistency, people who were not constitutionally in government were making decisions and even battering the judicial service, firing people left right and centre,” he said.
Chiwenga said military intervention became necessary because Mugabe’s regime had become toxic, vindictive and issued decrees as if Zimbabwe had become a personal empire.
“We code named it Operation Restore Legacy advisedly. When you are foremost commander whose roots are steeped in the liberation struggle and you see the very fabric and foundation of the society you helped build as a cadre of the struggle, the very society you protected and defended as a commander threatened with implosion and collapse, what becomes uppermost on your mind is not political terminology or jargon, but your responsibilities as a man in charge of an institution which is the State’s line of defence as provided by section 212 of the Constitution,” he said.
Mugabe, according to Chiwenga, who was the symbol of State had become a victim in the whole matrix allowing non-State actors to abuse State institutions and without the army’s intervention the body politic of Zimbabwe would have collapsed.
Chiwenga said the Saturday bombing at White City Stadium was an act of spoilers who did not cherish peace and wanted to create instability in Zimbabwe.
“The recent terror attack on the national leadership at the White City Stadium on June 23, 2018 barely hours after His Excellency the President Mnangagwa had visited Ekusileni Hospital, itself Umdala Wethu’s dream for healing our society, brought to the fore the sheer fragility of national peace if taken for granted and left undefended. Dr Nkomo’s reaction to this heinous terror attack is predictable as is obvious, he would have denounced it as cowardly and inhumane,” he said.