Mugabe says generals won’t interfere if he loses Zim election
By fstimes On 31 Jul, 2013 At 09:22 AM | Categorized As Africa | With 0 Comments

mugabePresident Robert Mugabe says Zimbabwe’s generals will not interfere with the smooth transfer of power, should he lose Wednesday’s elections.

Speaking to journalists at a rare press briefing at the state house on Tuesday, Mugabe said his generals were disciplined and law-abiding persons, who would follow the rule of law.

Several service chiefs, among them Zimbabwe defence force Commander Constantine Chiwenga, commissioner general of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Augustine Chihuri and Major Generals Trust Mugoba, Douglas Nyikayaramba and Martin Chedondo have recently declared their loyalty to Mugabe and Zanu-PF.

Some of the service chiefs have vowed not to “accept or salute” any leader without war credentials.

“You are putting it as if all the generals said so [they would not accept a person without liberation credentials]. It’s just one or two and they are not the army. They are law-abiding people, very law abiding and it’s military discipline they obey,” said Mugabe, in response to a question on whether the generals would interfere with the transfer of power if he lost the election.

Mugabe denied military generals were forcing him to stay in power and said such statements were being spread by his rivals as part of the “political game”.

Post-election war
On Monday, retired brigadier general Livingstone Chineka threatened post-election war if Zanu-PF lost the election, saying voting for anyone other than Mugabe was the same as recolonising the country.

“I went to war at the tender age of 16. I did not enjoy my adolescence period. Do you think I enjoyed it? We had no food, no healthcare, it was all problems,” said Chineka.

“Then you want to give the country back to the whites? No. The revolution is still on, the war continues. I may be old, but I know how to use a gun, I can load it and dismantle it. Even if I am old, I still know how to handle it, all those coming on my way will be gone,” he said, while chanting Zanu-PF slogans in between.

Mugabe said he was confident of a victory but would accept a loss.

“That’s a normal thing. If you go into a process and join in a competition where there are only two outcomes, a win or a loss, you can’t revolt. You either win or lose. If you lose you must surrender to those who win … We will play by the rules,” he said.

In 2008, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission withheld presidential election results for a month, amid allegations that they were doctoring numbers. When the results were finally released, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai was said to have outpolled Mugabe by 48% to 43%. Tsvangirai however needed 50% plus one vote to be sworn in as president.

The army then took over the Zanu-PF campaign and unleashed violence during the presidential election run-off, forcing Tsvangirai to pull out of the race.

Another unity government
Mugabe said he had worked well with his rival in the inclusive government and hinted there could be a possibility of another unity government.

“Well, that circumstance is not envisaged … I think we will have an outright winner, if not we can discuss. It will depend on what we get from the voters, what the voters want us to do, we will do,” he said.

The election is expected to be a close race between Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and Mugabe’s Zanu-PF.

Preparations for the polls have been marred by allegations of vote rigging. Mugabe’s rivals say with a day to go before polls, they have yet to access the voters’ roll. There have also been allegations that the voters’ roll was manipulated with the help of a shadowy Israeli company Nikuv, but Mugabe denied any knowledge of cheating.

If re-elected, Mugabe said he would carry on with the indigenisation programme and also look at ways of bringing back the Zimbabwean dollar in the long term.

Mugabe said he wanted good relations with Britain and said relations between Zimbabwe and South Africa were sound, despite him publicly ridiculing President Jacob Zuma’s international relations advisor Lindiwe Zulu.

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