Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has praised the November 2017 military intervention that toppled Zimbabwe’s long time ruler Robert Mugabe saying it stands out from the average African experience as it respected the cornerstones of the constitutional order.
Addressing the Joshua Nkomo memorial lecture at the University of Zimbabwe today, Chiwenga sought to dispel the myth that the military is associated with violence and inflicting physical harm on people saying they are there to protect the people’s rights peacefully like what happened during the Operation Restore Legacy last year.
“When you are a 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 upper most 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 last line of defence by as bided by the constitution Section 212,” said Chiwenga.
He praised the peace that prevailed in the country during the military intervention saying government remained functional while former President Robert Mugabe continued to enjoy honors and salute from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
“What made Operation Restore Legacy stand out and apart from the average African experience was in how measured and respectful of the cornerstones of the constitutional order it was.
“What is significant is not that the tanks got out of the barracks but (1) parliament remained functions during the operation (2) the judiciary went about with its business as usual (3) the rest of the executive branch continued to function as normal and most spectacularly, that the head of state and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces continued to enjoy his honours and salute include from personally and from the rest of the officers, men and women who comprise the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,” added Chiwenga.
The Vice President delivered his speech under the theme of ‘the role of the military in peace building and national reconciliation.
He called on Zimbabweans to stay peaceful as an honor to the late vice President Joshua Nkomo adding that peace is the only way to development.
“Zimbabwe should treasure peace of Joshua Nkomo which he died for,” he said.
Meanwhile, self exiled former cabinet ministers Professor Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao have vehemently opposed the new administration that it is a product of an illegal military coup that left scores of people dead.