Special Adviser to the president, Christopher Mutsvangwa, has unwittingly made a dramatic u-turn by dispelling his earlier statements that the army will be involved in the 2018 elections, a move which has earned him a fair share of criticism.
Mutsvangwa, who was in an apologetic mood, made the backtracking remarks while addressing journalists at his Munhumutapa offices in Harare yesterday.
He claimed that comments attributed to him in one of the local daily newspapers were misinterpreted by the media.
“Contrary to reports that were attributed to me, that the army would ensure an electoral victory for Zanu PF, its a lie.
“I said there was a team which helped to undo the dynastic tendencies of Mugabe. Then i promised the president that we would deliver an election victory to him and that specifically excludes the army because the army had played a role in the ascendancy to power of the new president.
“The army is a professional entity which doesn’t get involved in election campaigns and i urge all journalists to report accurately,” said Mutsvangwa.
Mutsvangwa, during his address at the Zanu PF’s Extra Ordinary Congress held over the weekend, said the ruling party ,would win emphatically in next year’s elections with a bigger margin than the 1980 elections that Mugabe won resoundingly to end colonial rule.
“We will win resoundingly, better than the 1980 elections and we will mobilise heavily working with the ZDF,” he said.
The statement sparked outrage from the public as fears of the 2008 post election violence, perpetrated by the army, were resurrected.
During his address at the party’s Extra Ordinary Congress , President During his speech, Mnangagwa paid tribute to Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander General Constantino Chiwenga for leading Operation Restore Legacy.
All the provinces also endorsed the military action that brought Mnangagwa to power. Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda proposed the adoption of the provincial resolutions without amendments.
He was seconded by women’s league secretary for administration Monica Mutsvangwa and, therefore, adopted.