President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s top adviser Christopher Mutsvangwa has reportedly told opposition parties that if they are not happy with the country's military they should take up arms and fight it.
Opposition parties that included the Movement for Democratic Change, and the Robert Mugabe "backed", National Patriotic Front (NPF), claimed in March that at least 5 000 soldiers were deployed to rural areas ahead of elections in July.
NPF leader, Ambrose Mutinhiri told a visiting SADC head of delegation, Leshele Thohlane, that the number of military personnel, who were deployed in rural areas during the military intervention last year had dramatically increased, thus, raising fears of intimidation and an unfair election, said a Daily News report.
But, according to New Zimbabwe.com, reacting the claims, Mutsvangwa mockingly told the opposition parties that they should "take up arms and fight the Zimbabwe National Defence force" if they were not happy with it.
Speaking at a discussion forum in Harare, Mutsvangwa drew parallels to the country’s fight for independence against the Rhodesian forces, saying opposition parties should as well mobilise their supporters and launch a guerrilla warfare.
"If you have any issues with the military and you hate them so much, I have got one dictum for you, we had a military which we hated as young people; it was called the Rhodesian army. We decided that we didn’t want it, but we could not deal with that army on the Zimbabwean soil, we had to go into exile as young people to Romania, Russia, China, Yugoslavia and Cuba, trained there and came back and fought it (Rhodesian army).
"If you have issues with the Zimbabwean army, if you have issues with the Zimbabwean state, that’s how we removed it, (Rhodesian army) from power. So stop bringing it into the electoral playing field," Mutsvangwa was quoted as saying.
Mutsvangwa also warned the opposition parties, saying that they should not make a fuss about the military, as they were not going to be able to win even a single vote in the upcoming elections.