ZIMBABWE – UNDERFIRE Presidential Guard commander, Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe has made a U-turn on army threats to exterminate ousted Vice President Joice Mujuru fledgling People First project.
A private weekly reported two weeks ago that Sanyatwe made the threats while addressing some 500 army officers of the Presidential Guard on September 2.
The sabre-rattling army chief was at 2 Presidential Guard Barracks in Dzivaresekwa, Harare during his brief to mark the end of the year, according to the report.
Sanyatwe reportedly said armed forces will not sit idle while Mujuru went ahead to form a party that he feared posed a threat to Zanu PF 2018 re-election prospects.
Professionalism is over and many of you are wondering what is happening in the country.
I do not want you to hear through the grapevine or read in the newspapers but the animal called Zanu PF hall rule forever and that is the reason I am saying forward with Zanu PF! Forward with President Robert Mugabe!, Down with Joice Mujuru! Sanyatwe was quoted saying.
His comments invited strong rebuke from the opposition and the greater civil society for being another brazen violation of the national constitution by the country meddlesome security establishments, widely credited for keeping Mugabe in power.
MDC-T MP for Kuwadzana Nelson Chamisa warned rogue military elements for their unguarded comments, adding they may one day be called to account for their actions.
Equally, Rugare Gumbo, spokesperson for People First, said his party was concerned that the army was meddling in Zanu PF succession politics which are ordinarily civilian affair.
Perhaps feeling the heat, Sanyatwe was forced to withdraw his threats.
Nothing of that sort was ever said, Sanyatwe is quoted in the state media as having said, â€œWhen, as military leaders, we address our officers, we operate within the strict confines of military rulebooks. It is not like we are at a rally. We do not address rallies.
Zanu PF factional tensions run straight into the country military ranks, where the embattled former VP late husband, Solomon Mujuru, was once commander.
However, President Mugabe, perhaps fearing unrest within the armed forces, has been reluctant to extend a witch hunt and purges Mujuru allies.