Army Boss Stages Coup
3 July 2024
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Political Reporter-The head of the Zimbabwe National Army Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe has vowed to crush opposition forces in Zimbabwe and force citizens to support the ruling Zanu PF party.

Sanyatwe told a Zanu PF campaign rally in Nyanga North, where his wife Chido is the Member of Parliament, that soldiers would coerce citizens into supporting Zanu PF.

During the rally, Sanyatwe boldly announced the implementation of a “command voting” system.

Under this directive, voters will be instructed on who to vote for, and non-compliance will result in manipulated election results. Using a vivid analogy, he declared, “Zanu PF will continue ruling until donkeys grow horns,” emphasizing his authority as the army commander.

He concluded his remarks by leading pro-Zanu PF chants and condemning the opposition, whom he referred to as “enemies.”

This rhetoric harkens back to his controversial role as commander of the Presidential Guard during the August 2018 post-election demonstrations, where six protesters and bystanders were fatally shot.

Despite his claims during the Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry that his soldiers did not shoot the crowds, the incident remains a dark stain on his military career.

Following these events, Sanyatwe received multiple promotions from President Emmerson Mnangagwa and was appointed Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Tanzania.

Returning to the military on October 20, 2023, he was promoted to the position of Zimbabwe National Army commander.

While the Zimbabwean constitution prohibits serving soldiers from political affiliations, the military has a notorious history of political interference, especially during elections.

This was evident in 2002 when General Vitalis Zvinavashe declared the army’s allegiance only to political leaders who upheld Zimbabwean values, signaling a long-standing tradition of military involvement in politics.

Lieutenant General Sanyatwe’s recent statements and actions further solidify this trend, raising concerns about the integrity of the upcoming elections and the future of Zimbabwe’s democratic processes.