'We'll respect the will of the people,' Zim war vets assure opposition

2018-07-22 07:08
The chairperson of the Zimbabwean liberation movement Christopher Mutsvangwa at a media briefing held in Harare.

The chairperson of the Zimbabwean liberation movement Christopher Mutsvangwa at a media briefing held in Harare.

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Zimbabwean war veterans have assured opposition parties that they would respect the outcomes of the coming polls, a report said on Friday.

The southern African country’s 1970s war veterans said they would not stand in the way of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa if he defeated President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the July 30 polls, a Daily News report said.

Chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, Christopher Mutsvangwa who also doubled as Mnangagwa's top adviser said the former liberation fighters would respect the will of the people which would come through an election.

"As war veterans, we believe in the voice of the people, that only the people through an election will decide the country's leadership and that their decision must be respected by all.

"The biggest difference between [Robert] Mugabe and President Emmerson Mnangagwa is that the latter is a lawyer, a super democrat who believes in constitutionalism and will always respect the country's laws. And so, the constitution will dictate what happens after these elections," Mutsvangwa was quoted as saying.

Violence, intimidation and fraud

Mtsvangwa's remarks came a few weeks after the country's military also vowed to stay neutral in the upcoming elections, according to a report by AFP.

The army dismissing suggestions it would deploy service personnel to influence the national polls.

The military as well as the war veterans were under close scrutiny due to their involvement in November which led to the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe.

Previous elections under Mugabe were marred by violence, intimidation and fraud – often alleged to involve the security forces as well as the war veterans.

But since Mugabe was overthrown last November, Mnangagwa has promised to hold a free and fair elections.

The July 30 polls would be the first without both Mugabe and his long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai, who succumbed to colon cancer at a private South African hospital in February.

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