Zimbabwe’s military a threat after Mugabe?


Posted on June 16, 2011 14:45

Removing Robert Mugabe from power would not solve Zimbabwe’s complex political crisis, United States Ambassador, Charles Ray, has cautioned.

Speaking to journalists during a briefing in Bulawayo, the country’s second capital, on Thursday, June 16, 2011, U.S. Ambassor to Zimbabwe said the military – which has over the years deeply entrenched itself into Zimbabwean politics, would quickly usurp power should Mugabe leave power.

“I don’t think removing one individual, Mugabe, is going to change and solve the problems. That would not happen. Building a country is not one’s man job. It requires participation by every citizen,” said Ray.

The ambassador, however, did not suggest that Mugabe should rule forever.

The army generals, according to Ray, are an impediment to Zimbabwe’s return to democracy.

He also added that the constitutional role of the security forces is to defend the country against external and internal security threats and not get involved in politics.

Commenting on the possibility of a Zimbabwe-type Arab Spring the diplomat argued that the possibility “could not be ruled out”.

“Those governments (in the Arab region) have lost contact with the people and talking to youths in Zimbabwe I get that sense of a disconnect.

“It would be foolish for anyone to say a country with 60 percent youth population who have a much broader world view, facing similar challenges with those in Arab states would be spared from some form of civil disobedience,” said Ray.

Youth unemployment rate in the formal sector rose to 80 percent in 2010, economists have estimated.

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