Zimbabwe general attacks MDC

A senior Zimbabwean army general has warned soldiers against supporting the main opposition, branding it an enemy of the country, state television said.

    Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980

    Political analysts say Zimbabwe's military brass is fiercely loyal to the governing ZANU-PF party and Robert Mugabe, who co-led the country's liberation war in the 1970s and has ruled as president since independence from Britain in 1980.

     

    On Monday the television said Major-General Martin Chedondo "issued a warning" at an army parade in the central town of Gweru, that supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would not be tolerated in military ranks.

     

    The station reported: "In a no-holds-barred off-the-cuff speech ... Major-General Martin Chedondo said it was the duty of every soldier to know the country's enemies and to protect it from them."

     

    It said the general branded the MDC was an enemy of the people and the state, and said supporters of the MDC would not be tolerated in the Zimbabwe National Army.

     

    Zimbabwe Television did not say what had prompted the comment, but it showed a clip in which Chedondo said: "If there is any among you who are supporters or have any sympathy for the MDC, then the military is not your place."

     

    Private institution

     

    Although the army officially says it is non-partisan, critics say Mugabe, 81, has turned the army into a private ZANU-PF defence institution in the face of a deepening economic crisis and growing opposition in the southern African country.

     

    On the eve of presidential elections in 2002 - which the opposition says Mugabe rigged - Zimbabwe's army and security commanders said in a strong but indirect statement that they would not tolerate a win by Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.