HARARE – Justice and Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa is singing for his supper after entering government through the backdoor, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has said.
The MDC says it is worried by Chinamasa’s recent comments to the BBC threatening that Zanu PF and the military will not allow Tsvangirai to lead the country even if he wins the next presidential election.
Zimbabwe is likely to go for elections next year and politicking and jockeying in the leading political parties is now in full motion.
Unsure that Mugabe will reverse his March 2008 loss to Tsvangirai, Chinamasa has resorted to what the MDC says amounts to treasonous coup threats.
During the BBC interview, Chinamasa, a trained lawyer and former Attorney-General, said military generals would intervene if Tsvangirai won.
The MDC says as someone who lost an election and only managed to get into government through Mugabe’s patronage, Chinamasa is probably just singing for his supper.
“Chinamasa’s inflammatory statement is not surprising given that he is a beneficiary of Mugabe’s gratuity which landed him the post of senator and ultimately being catapulted to be minister of Justice after he lost dismally in a popular election of 2008,” said MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora.
“It is not surprising that a loser like Chinamasa cannot respect, let alone understand the tenets of any popular democratic system which guides popular votes and determine the people’s choices on who should lead them,” said Mwonzora.
Chinamasa, who is Zanu PF’s chief negotiator to the coalition government talks, lost elections to MDC’s John Nyamande in the 2008 harmonised elections and was appointed a non-constituency senator by Mugabe.
Mwonzora said since Chinamasa “has been towed into leadership through the backdoor” he feels obliged to repay the 88-year-old Zanu PF leader.
“Chinamasa is determined to safeguard his ill-gotten power and has become a danger not only to himself but also a threat to national security,” said Mwonzora.
Service chiefs such as police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri, defence forces commander Constantine Chiwenga and army major-general Douglas Nyikayaramba have vowed not to salute Tsvangirai.
Mwonzora said Chinamasa is now posing as the spokesperson of the army.
“By self-proclaiming himself as the chief spokesperson of the army, Chinamasa naively wants the nation to believe his inflammatory statement is a representation of the entire military’s position.
“Yet we all know he is merely parroting the sentiments of a few misguided army generals who are obviously determined to protect and continue enjoying the fruits of their ill-gotten fortunes whilst the generality of the junior officers in the army languish in abject poverty,” said Mwonzora.
The MDC spokesperson said Chinamasa’s behaviour is “cowardly” and an attempt at hijacking a popular vote “as was the case in 2008”.