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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles


  • Crisis Report Issue 189
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    June 06, 2013

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    Drag Security Forces to Constitutional Court-Mangwana

    Zimbabweans who are unhappy with the conduct or utterances of the security forces should take them to the constitutional court, Paul Mangwana who is the Member of Parliament for Chivi Central and a Zanu-PF politburo member has said.

    Mangwana said if there were perceptions that members of the security services are flouting the supreme law - the new constitution stipulates how the security forces should conduct themselves.

    The Sixth Schedule of the new Constitution came into effect on May 22 when the President signed the Constitutional Amendment Bill 20.

    The Schedule gives effect to Section 208 (2) (a) to (d) which prohibits security forces from being active members of political parties and from prejudicing or furthering flouting the supreme law - the new constitution stipulates how the security forces should conduct themselves.

    The Sixth Schedule of the new Constitution came into effect on May 22 when the President signed the Constitutional Amendment Bill 20.

    The Schedule gives effect to Section 208 (2) (a) to (d) which prohibits security forces from being active members of political parties and from prejudicing or furthering the interests of a political party.

    “If anyone thinks that the security forces are violating the constitution you must take them to the constitutional court,” Mangwana said at a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) organized public meeting held in Harare on Wednesday.

    Asked why Zanu-PF was not acting on the issue like the MDC-T, which has been disciplining its councilors fingered in corruption, Mangwana said it was not Zanu-PF business.

    Analysts have pointed out that the party reaps from the behavior of the security forces whose suspected role in the violent and contested 2008 elections was investigated by the South African government in a report which has been kept secret.

    “The security forces are the security forces of Zimbabwe. Zanu-PF does not own soldiers, they belong to Zimbabwe.

    “Security services are disciplined by the Defence Act,” the Former Copac co-Chairperson said, in a bid to exonerate his party from accusations of corrupting the forces and making them toe the party line.

    Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander Constantine Chiwenga reportedly said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was “a psychiatric patient who needs a competent psychiatrist” - utterances that analysts said brought into question the issue of whether the forces were in contempt of civilian rule.

    Mangwana said disciplining of the security services was a matter that could not be dealt with by anyone outside of the military hierarchy, or without resorting to the courts.

    President Robert Mugabe is the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence forces and has been silent as generals made statements to the effect that they would not respect any electoral outcome that does not favor a candidate with liberation war credentials - in apparent reference to the 89-year-old leader.

    The Chivi Central Legislator said the new constitution was clear on the behavior required of the security forces.

    “The reforms you talk about are contained in the new constitution.

    “The new constitution says how the security forces must behave and how the media must behave,” Mangwana said, adding:

    “Any reforms which must be done are already in the new constitution.”

    Mangwana said if it was a matter of implementation, it meant that the executive had to play its part. However former MDC-T COPAC co-chairperson Hon. Douglas Mwonzora intimated that for these reforms to be implemented there was a need by the South African mediation team and SADC Heads of State and Government to insist on them at the Special Summit on Zimbabwe that could take place next week.

    “We are going to SADC simply for the purposes of being helped to abide by our constitution,” the MDC-T official mouthpiece said, admitting that some of the reforms are now in the new constitution but have not been translated into practice for which he leveled blame at perceived Zanu-PF reluctance and delaying tactics.

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