The Generals Statement, its meaning and implications

The Generals Statement, its meaning and implications
Published: 14 November 2017 (416 Views)
Yesterday, the Generals held a press conference at KGIV in Harare. The message they delivered was essentially directed at only one man, President Robert Mugabe, nobody else. The Generals only recognise one man, their Commander in Chief President Robert Mugabe. Let us forget about everyone else. The message was essentially that Robert Mugabe must put his house in order. That he must retrace his footsteps to the point where he allowed the party constitution to be violated without due process. He was essentially given a timeline. He was told that he lost his way from 2015, beginning with the expulsion of former vice president Joyce Mujuru all the way to now, where he has now expelled former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa. That is the context in which the generals statement must be understood. Here is why.

The Mgagao Declaration (Oct 1975)
The Mgagao declaration was written by military officers at the main ZANLA training camp in Tanzania at the height of the liberation struggle in 1975. It laid the foundation of two important historical events, the basis for the removal of Rev Ndabaningi Sithole as leader of ZANU and at the same time laid the foundation for the elevation of Robert Mugabe as the leader of ZANU at a special congress at Chimoio two years later in 1977. Of the crimes Sithole was accused of, the following stand out. That "he had no interest in the revolution or people, only his personal interests. That he cherished an insatiable lust for power". Essentially Robert Mugabe is being accused of exactly the same thing. That he has failed to uphold the founding principles of the liberation struggle. That he has personalised the people's project by empowering his wife at the expense of those who fought and sacrificed in the war of liberation. The Generals statement at KG1V amounted to a declaration that now lays the foundation for the removal of president Mugabe as leader of ZANU PF and the elevation of somebody else.

Where does power reside
Despite being a constitutional democracy, power has always resided in the barrel of the gun. What that means is that the guarantors of the revolution have always been war veterans and most constitute the national army.

In that respect, the Generals are saying to Robert Mugabe, we put you there and therefore we can remove you. Politics leads the gun in as long as you are respecting the principles of the liberation struggle (Chibvumirano) The nationalist paradigm has always been that politics is a prisoner of the gun. What the Generals are saying we will look after you (our Commander in Chief) with the gun as long as you are one of us. But should you sell out the gun will take corrective measures. During the armed struggle, (nguva yehondo) they were sell-outs of African descent who would sell information to the coloniser. So, when one was caught for selling out, they would die a painful death. In principle the Generals are saying the van guard party ZANU PF has been infiltrated by "counter-revolutionaries" and therefore the commander in chief, the president has essentially sold out the revolution. What is happening now is recognition of those principles by the Generals and a reminder to President Mugabe of the Mgagao declaration and the punishment metred to Rev Ndabanigni Sithole for selling out and the possible consequences for him.

G40 merely pawns

The Generals also recognise that Grace Mugabe, Professor Jonathan Moyo and the youth league draw their power from President Mugabe. So according to the Generals their commander in chief is been given room to correct this and failure to do so, will see them taking corrective measures as his foot soldiers and custodians of the security of the country. The Generals recognise that the G40 are merely pawns in the bigger scheme of things. They have traced the source of the poison that inflicts the country and it leads all the way to the top. They are saying the military as an institution "cuts across a wider spectrum of Government support functions" and therefore they are equally affected by the reckless purging and back biting within the ZANU PF party. They remind president Mugabe twice in the same statement, that our "revolutionary path is replete with conduct and rebellion by people who have attempted to destroy the revolution from within". Effectively he has been put on notice.

Constitutionality of Generals statement

The Generals statement begins with a reference to the preamble of the Constitution. "Exalting and extolling the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the Chimurenga/Umvekela and national liberation struggles and honouring our forebears and compatriots who toiled for the progress of our country"- This sums up the agreement of the nationalist paradigm. (Chibvumirano). The Generals have not breached any constitutional provision. They are merely pointing out to their commander in chief that it is him that has breached or violated 'chibvumirano' (the nationalist vow). He reminds the president that it is the army that has historically corrected democratic anomalies that occurred in the party of liberation. In other words, there is a more than one precedence to the action they have promised to take in our history. It is entrenched in custom, Mgagago, removed Rev Ndabaningi Sithole and elevated Robert Mugabe, the formation of FROLIZI, the attempt to remove the late Herbert Chitepo from his position in a bogus Congress in 1973, The Nhari-Badza rebellion and the Vashandi 1 and 2 rebellion that led to the death of Nikita Mangena. All these were corrected by the armed forces as the party was in danger of being destroyed by counter revolutionaries. The current scenario is no different.

The Constitution of Zimbabwe is a by-product of a political process. Theoretically, it captures the values and aspirations of its citizenry. It is the supreme law of the land. However, when a political process is allowed to temper with it, such that it now fails to mirror the aspirations of its citizens, the citizens become prisoners of that constitution. Our history of liberation speaks of how the gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe defied a constitution that criminalised their fight for freedom and justice. But, based on moral conviction alone, they recognised that an unjust law is no law at all. So, it naturally followed that they had to defy the Constitution of Rhodesia in order to usher in the Constitution of Zimbabwe. By extension, if the constitution of Zimbabwe seizes to mirror the aspirations of Zimbabwe, our legacy of the liberation struggle allows the armed forces to step in and take corrective measures.

- Lloyd Msipa


You May Like These Videos


There are no comments.

Latest stories

WATCH: Mnangagwa praises 'father of the nation' Mugabe

by AFP | 24 November 2017 | 360 Views

Chihuri booed at Mnangagwa inauguration

by Stephen Jakes | 24 November 2017 | 602 Views

At least 155 killed in mosque in Egypt

by Staff Reporter | 24 November 2017 | 131 Views

Zodwa Wabantu plans Zim tour post Mugabe resignation

by TshisaLIVE | 24 November 2017 | 384 Views

Mnangagwa to make job creation a priority

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 266 Views

Mnangagwa praises 'father of the nation' Mugabe

by AFP | 24 November 2017 | 169 Views

Mnangagwa calls for peaceful 2018 elections

by Staff Reporter | 24 November 2017 | 213 Views

'All foreign investments will be safe,' promises Mnangagwa

by Staff Reporter | 24 November 2017 | 191 Views

Mnangagwa to compensate white farmers

by Staff Reporter | 24 November 2017 | 265 Views

Man loses 3 teeth to wife

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 214 Views

'Grace Mugabe used me'

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 364 Views

Chimene makes u-turn, now supports Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 335 Views

Soldiers rescue Mphoko's Choppies

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 273 Views

Open letter to Mthwakazi.

by Kernan Mzelikahle | 24 November 2017 | 147 Views

The New Zimbabwean president faces high expectations. will he fulfil them?

by Dr Masimba Mavaza | 24 November 2017 | 136 Views

Mnangagwa sworn in as Zimbabwe President

by AFP | 24 November 2017 | 258 Views

Oscar Pistorius's murder sentence increased to 13 years

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 110 Views

Mnangagwa's poisoned chalice

by Crecey Kuyedzwa | 24 November 2017 | 199 Views

Shembe dies

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 151 Views

Mnangagwa inauguration programme

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 164 Views

Concern over Jonathan Moyo, Kasukuwere, Chombo security

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 283 Views

Mnangagwa's timeline

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 136 Views

The dramatic rise and fall of Grace Mugabe

by Christopher Farai Charamba | 24 November 2017 | 309 Views

Khama Billiat non-committal

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 112 Views

Kaindu returns to Zambia

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 123 Views

Mnangagwa takes oath of office today

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 139 Views

From Chairman Mao to Deng - from Mugabe to Mnangagwa

by Darlington Musarurwa | 24 November 2017 | 134 Views

Sodomy storm for policeman

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 103 Views

Mnangagwa assures Mugabe, family of maximum security

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 112 Views

Fissures in MDC Alliance over formation of Transitional govt

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 106 Views

Mugabe not invited to Mnangagwa inauguration

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 158 Views

Dabengwa offers to serve under Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 263 Views

'Jailing Mugabe would bring Zimbabwe bad luck'

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 66 Views

Soldiers torture Kasukuwere's maids

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 189 Views

Mugabe jumped before he was pushed

by Peter Fabricius | 24 November 2017 | 80 Views

Mnangagwa allies, army targeting families of Jonathan Moyo and Kasukuwere

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 259 Views

Tsvangirai to attend Mnangagwa inauguration

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 661 Views

Chiwenga challenged to clarify G40 arrests

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 239 Views