The Sunday Mail
THE military has paid tribute to the tens of thousands of people who filled the streets of Harare yesterday to show solidarity with the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for intervening to arrest a potentially volatile social, economic and political situation.
ZDF spokesman Major-General Sibusiso B Moyo also lauded the huge crowds for their discipline throughout the marching.
He told tens of thousands of people gathered in Harare, “Ndauya kuzotenda nerutsigiro rwenyu rwamaita kumauto enyu eZimbabwe. Rambai makadaro nerutsigiro irworwo. Mauto enyu navanhu zvakafanana, saka tinotenda chaizvo nezvamaita nhasi.
“Nyaya yamaratidza yediscipline, kuzvibata nekuterera kwaratidza nyika yese kuti vanhu vemuZimbabwe vakafunda.”
Maj-Gen Sibanda said the ZDF’s mission was still in progress and such efforts could not be completed in a day.
“Takatarisira kuti pakufamba rwendo, pakufamba hatingafambe rwendo rwese nezuva rimwe chete. Zvoto zvinodziiwa pakasiyana siyana,” he said.
And in a statement on ZBC-tv yesterday evening, the ZDF urged Zimbabweans to be responsible and avoid being used to cause chaos during the course of their mission.
The ZDF said people must continue to be orderly and be vigilant against provocateurs who may want to cause commotion and destruction of property to discredit what has proven to be an extremely popular military intervention.
The ZDF on Wednesday said it had taken action to pacify the degenerating political, social and economic situation which they said, if left unchecked, would have resulted in violent conflict.
The military has emphasised that its actions are not a power grab, and they were primarily interested in fishing out reactionary and criminal elements around President Mugabe.
The ZDF has encouraged the arms of the State, business and all Zimbabweans to go about their normal business, which has been the case since Wednesday.
Organisers of yesterday’s march, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association led by Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa, also thanked the multitudes, which they estimated at two million.
Cde Mutsvangwa said, “I extend our sincere gratitude to the people of Zimbabwe. The massive demonstration of people is testament to your deep sense of democracy and your pride in your history.
“(President) Mugabe must smell the coffee; Zimbabweans want to be rid of you. Now the world can see clearly, the army is actually protecting President Mugabe, not detaining him.
“The people are supreme and today it was all there for everyone to see. Thank you ZDF Commander General Constantino Chiwenga and the entire ZDF for a people’s army.
“There were two million people and President Mugabe havana kana munhu, ZDF ndiyo inevese. There was remarkable peace and discipline showing that hallmark of maturity, which is typical of Zimbabweans.”
Following the ZDF intervention last week, President Mugabe met Gen Chiwenga at State House in Harare in the company of Sadc envoys South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister Bongani Bongo.
Also present were Roman Catholic cleric Father Fidelis Mukonori, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, State Security Minister Kembo Mohadi, Air-Vice Marshal Elson Moyo and Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services George Charamba.