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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Army top brass should be restructured: MDC

ZIMBABWE – HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says there is need to depoliticize the uniformed forces in Zimbabwe.

The MDC that has a difficult relationship with top commanders of Zimbabwe’s security forces said a new and independent board should be appointed to oversee senior police and army appointments and promotions in order to enhance professionalism in the forces. The Zimbabwe Telegraph reports.

“The MDC believes that the Defence Forces Commission should be overhauled so that a new board with independent and qualified members be appointed in consultation with commanders of the Zimbabwe National Army and the Air force of Zimbabwe.

“In this view, it should be the responsibility of this commission to review and oversee senior appointments and promotions, as well as general working conditions and salaries of all personnel.”

Zimbabwe’s top security commanders have refused to salute or recognise Tsvangirai and for months refused to attend National Security Council (NSC) meetings because the former opposition leader is a member.

And on several occasions Zimbabwe’s top generals have threatened to stage a coup should Tsvangirai takeover over power.

When the MDC leader defeated Mugabe in a first round presidential election in March 2008 the security forces responded by waging a campaign of violence against Tsvangirai’s support base, forcing the former opposition leader to quit the decisive second round presidential ballot.

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