Thursday March 20 2014

Army MPs in House shock Zimbabwe military


The team, which had paid a courtesy call to the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, on Thursday said the military must be apolitical.

“Is the decision to embrace the military in Parliament well-accepted by the [Ugandan] population? Have you been receiving some kind of resistance from your population? In Zimbabwe we are having a problem, our people believe the military should not be involved in the politics,” said Col Johns Mhlanga, a member of the Zimbabwe National Defence College.

Defended presence
Ms Kadaga defended the presence of the army in the House, which presence has repeatedly been criticised by the opposition.

“The relationship between the military and the population is majorly cordial because army MPs keep to their work. I do not think they organise rallies to address civilians,” she said. However, their presence is subject to reviews, which, has been done twice.

Ms Kadaga added: “If a time comes when the population says it does not want the army representatives, the soldiers will go back to the barracks. In the meantime, they will be part of our structure.”
Some military officers have in the past told this newspaper that without the army in Parliament, there would be chaos.

The Law
Article 78 of the Constitution provides for, among other special interest groups, army representatives in Parliament.