A Zimbabwean army general has sparked a political storm after he told troops to only support President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Major General Martin Chedondo also dismissed Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as a puppet of the West.
“You are all descendants of Zanu PF because your parents are children of the revolutionary party, which made you, go to school and brought a level political atmosphere that accepts elections,” Gen Chedondo told 300 troops after mock battle outside Harare.
“Tsvangirai and his cronies are being used by imperialists to change our Zimbabwe.
“We will never be shy to mention this because the truth must be known for the people to make right choices.
“We will never accept that white colonizers become indigenous Zimbabweans.”
President Mugabe often accuses his rivals of representing the interests of Zimbabwe’s former colonisers.
Service chiefs, most of them who fought in Zimbabwe’s liberation war, have in the past vowed never to allow Mr Tsvangirai to rule the country.
The security forces were blamed for the political violence that marred the ill fated June 2008 presidential run-off poll after the 88-year old ruler lost the first round to the then opposition leader.
Gen Chedondo said soldiers would never apologise for supporting President Mugabe’s party.
“As soldiers, we will never be apologetic for supporting Zanu PF because it is the only political party that has national interests at heart,” he said.
“As soldiers we must support ideologies that we subscribe to, I for one will never be apologetic for supporting Zanu PF because I was part of the liberation struggle.”
Mr Tsvangirai’s MDC party said Gen Chedondo’s remarks vindicated its calls for urgent security sector reforms.