The appointment of Chiwenga as a Minister of Defence and VP raises eyebrows

The appointment of Chiwenga as a Minister of Defence and VP raises eyebrows
Published: 31 December 2017 (1612 Views)
Dr retired General Constantino Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga was born as Constantine Guveya Chiwenga on the 25th August 1956. He retired from the army and Is currently serving as Vice-President of Zimbabwe since December 2017. On the 29th December 2017 he was appointed as the Minister of Defence, Security and War Veterans.

He is again the Vice-President of the ruling ZANU-PF party since December 2017. Rtd. Dr General Constantino Chiwenga was born in Wedza, this is a place where the former General Rex Nhongo came from.

Dr Chiwenga was nick named Dominic Chinenge He served in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Zimbabwe National Army

Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army. He rose to the rank of General and he is not the first military man to get into main stream politics. Some former soldiers are in the top ranks of the opposition.

The hypocrisy of the opposition is seen when they complain about Chiwenga being a VP and a minister but turn a blind eye to those in their file and ranks.

The appointing of Chiwenga the minister of defense security and war veterans above that of the VP has given Zimbabwe a picture of a proper military rule. The advantage of all this circus is vindicated by the total silence of the local opposition. However the international world has not kept silent.

When operation restore legacy was activated the West received it with mixed feelings. They were glad Mugabe was going and his wife who praised nepotism at rallies will be history.

Mugabes wife was fully aware of the impending coup. She dared the army to shoot her. Her handlers got so blinded by power such that they underestimated the army.

It should be remembered that the roots of the army traces back to the pre-independence Rhodesian Army, which included many troops from present-day Zimbabwe

The military history of Zimbabwe encompasses an immense panorama of conflicts and struggles extending for more than fifty two years across areas constituting modern Zimbabwe. The history of the modern-day military of Zimbabwe begins before 1980 after Zimbabwe achieved its independence as a modern nation-state. The military holds a significant place in the history of Zimbabwe as the Zimbabwean Armed Forces have played, and still continue to play, a vital role in the Zimbabwean establishment and shaping of the country since its independence. Although Zimbabwe was founded as a democracy after its independence from the British the military has remained one of the country's most powerful institutions.

In 2017 November the army adjusted and intervened in aligning the democratically elected civilian governments on the basis of self-assessed mismanagement and corruption.

In order to keep the army abreast government has made sure that the military was consulted before they took key decisions, especially when those decisions relates to the economy and foreign policy. Political leaders of Zimbabwe's developing democracy know that the military has stepped into the political arena before at times of crisis through Targeting criminals to establish a growing economy and a democratic nation and could do so again.

Many of the government leaders had fought in the liberation war and do understand. The military draws on inspiration from the rich combat history that has occurred within the liberation struggle and area of modern-day Zimbabwe in DRC and Mozambique and uses example of sacrifice and perseverance to embolden troops.

Since the time of independence, the military has fought two major wars in DRC and in Mozambique. It has also fought a limited conflicts across Africa in peace keeping missions. In addition, there have been several minor skirmishes in Angola.

In addition, Zimbabwean troops have also participated in various foreign conflicts usually acting as United Nations peacekeepers.

Now we need to understand that every country needs the military to survive. Retired members should be used in areas they are best for the best interest of the nation.

While the appointment of Dr Chiwenga to the ministry of Defense appears partisan or a thank you token we must understand that Chiwenga has experience in the army and making him the minister becomes beneficial to the nation and to the army aswell.

United States Secretary of Defense is the leader and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense, the executive department of the Armed Forces of the United States of America.The Secretary of Defense's power and authority over the United States' military is second only to that of the President and Congress.This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in many other countries. The Secretary of Defense is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and is by custom a member of the Cabinet and by law a member of the National Security Council. He is normally a retired soldier and isnot elected to that position.

The reason is that the electorate have trusted the president with the security of the state. So appointing anybody to that post does not need elections. In the United Kingdom the Secretary and minister of defense is always a military man.

The events in Zimbabwe while they moved too fast they conform to the world order. There is nothing wrong in making the Vice President to be in charge of the national security.

The minister of Defense has "authority, direction and control over the Department of Defense", and is further designated by the same statute as "the principal assistant to the President in all matters relating to the Department of Defense".Ensuring civilian control of the military, an individual may not be appointed as Minister while on active duty as a commissioned officer of a regular component of an armed force.

The Minister of Defense is in the chain of command and exercises command and control, for both operational and administrative purposes subject only to the orders of the President, over all Department of Defense forces: the Army, CIO and Air Force. This is also extended to the War Veterans.

The Minister of Defense, the minister of Justice and the minister of finance are generally regarded as the four most important cabinet officials because of the importance of their departments. In America current Secretary of Defense is retired United States Marine Corps general Jim Mattis, who was confirmed and sworn in on January 20, 2017. His appointment was not considered as controversial.

This then shows the hypocrisy of the West. They lead a chorus that appointing Chiwenga is militarizing the government yet their governments are staffed with army personnel.

The ministry of defense plays a major supporting role to the Armed Forces in drawing up and administering the defence budget, as well as managing personnel matters (including pay and benefits), the defence estate and legal issues. It is also tasked with coordinating with a range of domestic, foreign and inter-governmental bodies on a range of related matters. So putting it in the hands of a soldier is a wise move.

The ministry was under a medical doctor and things went the other way. To protect the interests of the country it was a good move to appoint a respected soldier to the realm. He will protect the security, independence and interests of our country at home and abroad.He will work with our allies and partners whenever possible. He should aim to ensure that the armed forces have the training, equipment and support necessary for their work, and that we keep within budget.

Nothing wrong in appointing capable military people in government. In US and UK it is very normal. General Chiwenga term expired and he retired. He was appointed as a general member of the party and public. He has a PhD in terms of academic qualification, he is a proven leader based on his leadership from 2004 in the ZDF and he also has liberation war credentials.

Making him the minister of defense is therefore not partisan. He understands what the soldiers need. In defending the budget as a minister he will be able to relate with what is on the ground.

The major problem we have is that our detractors are sworn to criticize what Zimbabwe does. Even if it works for us as a country we are vilified by our enemies and the powers that could be.

The Zimbabwean minister of defense is more qualified and indeed a proper and fit candidate for the job. He is the man whose fitness to practice is not impaired by his training in the army.

It should be understood that elections are coming up in Few months and indeed the president has the hardest time to come up with suitable candidates who can hit the ground running not running away.

Vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk

- Dr Masimba Mavaza

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