THE opposition MDC-T has raised dust over the government’s recent deployment of State security personnel to provide security at the on-going Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) soccer tournament in Equatorial Guinea.
The party is adamant President Robert Mugabe, the commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, unilaterally deployed soldiers, police and intelligence officers to provide VVIP security at the African soccer jamboree being hosted by his key ally Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago.
The opposition strongly feels the deployment to Equatorial Guinea without the knowledge of Parliament is a clear, blatant violation of the provisions of Section 214 (b) of the Constitution.
Section 214 (b) reads: “The president must cause Parliament to be informed, promptly and in appropriate detail, of the reasons for their deployment and (i) where they are deployed in Zimbabwe, the place where they are deployed and (ii) where they are deployed outside Zimbabwe, the country in which they are deployed.”
Mugabe’s apologists might argued the deployment was in fulfilment of an international obligation, but the country’s Constitution demands that Mugabe fully abide by the supreme law of the land by not acting unilaterally.
To all intents and purposes, Mugabe’s flagrantly violated the Constitution to prop up a friend under the guise of combating terrorism, a development which gives credence to his critics that he has a penchant for acting unilaterally without regard to the supreme law of the land.
As argued by the opposition, this country has had a precedence in which Mugabe defied the same constitutional provision in 1998 after he dispatched soldiers on a military adventure to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an episode which nearly bled Zimbabwe to death financially.
The latest security excursion to Equatorial Guinea without the input of Parliament coincides with the damning assessment of Mugabe’s leadership qualities by his former sidekick Didymus Mutasa who has accused the Zanu PF leader of dictatorial tendencies.
In his open letter to Mugabe, Mutasa charges that he is a dictator who, in the run-up to the party’s sixth national congress, eroded internal democracy.