The words of Terence Mukupe, deputy finance minister in Zimbabwe are controversial in the country after he suggested that the army is not yet ready to cede power to the opposition.
An exit that stirs the knife in the plague as Zimbabwe is struggling to recover decades of reign of Robert Mugabe deemed chaotic and repressive, including human rights.
Yet, according to Terence Mukupe, deputy finance minister in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, the ruling party is far from breaking with its old habits. In a video that appeared online on Monday, the minister said in Harare that the army would not let opposition leader Nelson Chamisa come to power if he beat President Mnangagwa in the elections.
Zimbabwe is due to hold a general election on Aug. 22, the first since the army forced 94-year-old Robert Mugabe to resign and vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa. Constantino Chiwenga, the general who led the de facto coup, has since become vice-president.
“Our country, from where we come from and where we are today, needs a mature person, with a steady hand,” said Mukupe in the Shona language, to supporters. “Honestly, we can not say that the army has practically taken the country from Mugabe so they can hand it over to Chamisa,” he added.
The government is distancing
In addition to the implications of fraud and force underlying these statements, they also comfort Mugabe’s supporters who have always maintained that the former president was illegally deposed.
In any case, at Zanu-PF, the party in power, the executives quickly distanced themselves from the Deputy Minister of Finance. Simon Khaya Moyo, the interim Minister of Information, said in a statement that the comments did not represent the position of the ruling party, the government or the army.
“To suggest that our well-respected security organs act in a partisan manner with respect to the country’s politics, in addition to being unauthorized, is illegal, reckless, unsubstantiated, unjustified and therefore utterly reprehensible,” said Moyo.
“They are endangering national peace and stability and are a challenge to the principles and practices of democracy,” he said.
For a long time, the army was pointed for its open support to Zanu-PF. She has repeatedly stated that she would not allow the opposition to gain power.