ZIMBABWE WAR Veterans Minister, Christopher Mutsvangwa, has warned that any attempts to “reform” the country’s security institutions would result in bloodshed in Zimbabwe , it has been reported. The NewZimbabwe.com reported Wednesday that the army, air force, CIO and police – whose top ranks are massed by veterans of the liberation struggle – face charges of partisan dabbling in politics and violently helping President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF remain in power. Opposition parties have consistently called for reform of the security services, arguing that they have been contaminated by ruling Zanu PF politics. But a combative Mutsvangwa told a public lecture on former Mozambican President Samora Machel in Harare this week that security sector reform will never be “countenanced”.
“The defence forces is the most original institution this country has ever founded. We founded it dead body by dead body,” he said. “We have no problem with political ideas as long as they do not threaten the State that we founded. This nonsense about security sector reform will never be tolerated. “There was no factional politics in Rhodesia and these fights (over reform) are a demonstration of the democratic nature of the space we created.” Since the emergence of a credible opposition to President Mugabe’s regime at the turn of the century, army chiefs have intermittently made declarations that they would not salute anyone “without liberation war credentials”. Critics have interpreted this as a reference to opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai who reportedly bulked at the 11th hour from participating in the brutal war that brought majority rule. Zimbawe war veterans Minister Mutsvangwa said any attempt to “temper” with the security services would result in “blood”. “There will be bloodshed in Zimbabwe if people try and play around with the security services. “That is a no go area and do not even try it as they tried to do in 2002,” the Zimbabwe war veterans Minister said. The 2002 reference related to the MDC-T’s attempt to unseat Mugabe through mass action after Tsvangirai had lost the presidential poll which he argued had been rigged adding that military generals had cowed people into voting for Mugabe. Led by then army chief, Vitalis Zvinavashe, the military top brass had, on the eve of the election, issued a warning in a televised address that the “the highest office in the land is a straight-jacket whose occupant should is expected to observe the ideals of the liberation struggle”.