Mugabe fears war veterans

HARARE - Although the leadership of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) has been asking for a meeting with their patron, President Robert Mugabe, for a long time, he has yet to oblige to their request, raising concern in some Zanu PF quarters that he fears or dislikes meeting the war vets.

The ZNLWVA, currently led by well-known former guerrilla fighter Jabulani Sibanda, claims that it has unsuccessfully tried for the past 22 years to meet with Mugabe to look into the welfare of war veterans and to strategise about saving Zanu PF from collapse.

Mugabe’s “perplexing” refusal to formally meet with the war veterans has continued despite the former guerrilla fighters consistently putting their bodies on the line to secure election victories for both him and Zanu PF.

“The truth of the matter is that we have had several attempts to meet His Excellency (HE) without success. The last time we met HE was in 1992, at our first congress,” ZNLWVA secretary for publicity, James Kaunye, said yesterday at the end of a war veterans’ meeting in Harare.

“We are trying now, even under these conditions, to meet the president and give the correct perspective (around the welfare of war vets and the state of Zanu PF),” he added.

Senior party and government officials tried very hard to sabotage yesterday’s meeting, going on a massive propaganda drive in State media this week and claiming that the meeting would not take place.

As a result, some Zanu PF officials now say Mugabe fears engaging with genuine war veterans who helped secure Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980 because he allegedly knows that they feel “terribly let down” by the party’s leadership.

“Mugabe cannot face genuine war vets because he knows that he and other senior party leaders have terribly let down these brave men and women, who are as poor as they were before they went to war while chefs are swimming in luxury,” a Zanu PF central committee member who requested anonymity said yesterday.

Mugabe rubbished ZNLWVA leader Sibanda last week after the latter warned that war veterans would not countenance a “bedroom coup” in Zanu PF, in apparent reference to First Lady Grace Mugabe’s entrance into Zanu PF politics and her subsequent vicious attacks on Vice President Joice Mujuru.

The Zanu PF leader also warned war veterans that the military would crush Sibanda and his comrades if they dared to demonstrate and march against him at State House.

But despite the snub by Mugabe, the war vets are still confident of finally getting an opportunity to meet him to have “clear-the-air talks” ahead of next month’s crucial party elective congress.

“It is 100 percent ( certain) that we are going to meet him before congress. We want to clear the air so that everything will be clarified,” Shadreck Makombe, ZNWLVA secretary-general told journalists yesterday.

The beleaguered Sibanda was also in attendance at yesterday’s meeting, where he was instructed to go meet “our patron HE R G Mugabe”.

The war veterans urged the ruling party to close ranks and to “desist from this self-destructive factionalism, avoid involving us in those divisive acts and concentrate on the duties bestowed upon them by the masses”.

An ugly succession war pitting supporters of Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has left the ruling party deeply divided and on the verge of collapse.

So stark are the divisions that there are accusations that Mnangagwa’s faction has hatched a well-calculated plan to push out party chairpersons perceived to be loyal to the beleaguered Mujuru, who is accused of corruption, ineptitude and fanning factionalism, among other damaging allegations.

With the economy teetering on the brink, and government service suffering as a result, the war veterans who gathered in Harare said yesterday that the ongoing fights rocking Zanu PF were a betrayal of all the people who fought to free this country from colonial bondage.

“Why are you wasting your time in search of perceived enemies among yourselves instead of service delivery to the nation? We, as freedom fighters, view the current happenings as a betrayal to the masses and all our comrades who sacrificed their lives so we could enjoy the fruits of a liberated Zimbabwe,” said Kaunye.

“What is happening in our party today is a complete insult to the people and a disregard to their wishes, for the mandate that we got was to deliver pundutso (better lives) to the people,” he added.

Analysts also fear that Mugabe’s bid to influence the ouster of Sibanda, who was constitutionally elected to lead the war veterans, could cause a split along tribal lines in the ruling party, as well as lead to heightened intra-party violence.

Often seen as restive, war veterans have in the past had their way against Mugabe, managing to arm-twist him to accede to their demands, some of which, such as unaffordable payments, have been instrumental in destabilising the country’s economy.

In 1997, they forced Mugabe to award them once-off and unbudgeted Z$50 000 gratuities each, following a demonstration over the looting of the War Victims Compensation Fund.

Grace Mugabe’s brother — the late Reward Marufu — was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the loot, pocketing a staggering $Z800 000 then, after claiming nearly 98 percent disability as a result of alleged war injuries.

The Zimbabwe dollar subsequently crashed against the United States dollar and other major currencies as a result of the unbudgeted payments.

Comments (72)

How old are you Fungi Kwaramba? Let me educate you on accurate history which I saw with my own eyes living in Salisbury. It was the ordinary folk who voted Zanu into power in 1980 after Muzorewa's reign. Zanu under Mugabe and Zapu under Nkomo were forced/frogmarched by the Font Line State Presidents to attend the Lancaster House Conference which had been initiated by British Prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. When you say, "Mugabe fears engaging with genuine war veterans who helped secure Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980" what exactly do you mean? You are misleading readers parroting garbage. The Front Line Presidents gave Nkomo and Mugabe an ultimatum to attend the conference or risk losing support from Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania.

Musona - 7 November 2014

This politics of indoctrination is bad. They indoctrinated war vets and now they must live up to the billing.

clement moyo - 7 November 2014

Nhai Musona, whatb lead the front line states to force Nkomo and Mugabe to go to the Lancher House Conference? Was it not because of the war?

Musona Senior - 7 November 2014

Musona apo wakuma wena. Vana vaduku vanonakigwa nokushandisa mashoko epropaganda.

dick mboko - 7 November 2014

Mugabe fears no one. This is why he has been in poor for 34 years. Rather everyone in Zanu Pf and all Zimbabweans fear Mugabe. This is why there is a scramble for bootlicking in Zanu Pf. Every one, including the so called war veterans want to appear to be close to Mugabe. Huku dzega dzega!

Musona Senior - 7 November 2014

Margaret Thatcher was elected British prime minister on 4 May 1979 and decided to have a go at the intractable Rhodesian question. Thatcher knew that this was the question which Commonwealth countries would ask her at the Lusaka Conference in August 1979 so she prepared and thought she would have a go. She was under no pressure from anyone to settle the Rhodesian issue. Fortunately, she managed to pull it off. Zanu and Zapu wanted a military victory because they were not sure about support inside the country but the Front Line States thought otherwise. The hot pursuit battles deep into Mozambique and Zambia by Smith's forces had made life for citizens of Zambia and Mozambique very unsafe and the presidents thought this had to end an so forced Mugabe and Nkomo to attend the Conference. In February 1976 US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger went to S Africa and had meetings with Smith and S African prime minister John Vorster where they agreed a transitional arrangement which inexplicably the Front Line States later turned down after initially agreeing - maybe after consultation with Mugabe and Nkomo who wanted a military victory.

Musona - 7 November 2014

But all the same MrMusona, the war was costing both Smith and surrounding countries which made it possible to talk because of war.There were losses from both sides,eg Shell was bombed and there was fuel problems ,war budget was higher than any other development budget in Rhodesia,etc .So war was a factor to negotiating tables.Remember-Never A Majority Rule in A 1000YEARS!Chii chakazoitika?

Hapaz Hapanyengwi - 7 November 2014

I am compelled to say another piece of rubbish from this Mujuru daily , did not even bother to read the contents after seeing the idiotic headline. Desperation by this kindergarten paper. Pack of trash by a corrupt paper owned by a corrupt VP.

reason - 7 November 2014

@hapaz hapanyengwi, yes we remember Ian Smith's Majority rule never in a thousand years. Have you not realised that old Smithy has at least got the first 34 years correct, as we are still being ruled by a minority system even more rogue than the past system. There simply is NO majority rule in Zimbabwe, get real.

ronaldos - 7 November 2014

over 80% of adult zimbabweans are corrupt

really - 7 November 2014

@Musona ,there you go again with your gibberish are you Zimbabwean. Why are you so bitter about war vets? Is it because you were a coward and never took part in the struggle? Why do you ask people their ages are people defined by how old they are? You seek to discredit those who partook in the struggle. You are living in your own world. Poor Musona most of the comments just prove the most Zimbabweans know there was a liberation struggle that emancipated Zimbabwe

Sdazo - 7 November 2014

How about war vets forming their own party to improve service delivery and serve the masses since they have seen how much damage ZANU (PF) has done to the nation.

Mhofu Chaiyo - 7 November 2014

@Hapaz , you are spot on I asked Musona the same question( Smith's gibberish about black majority rule) he was evasive

Sdazo - 7 November 2014

You are a liar,war vets were given 50 000 dollars each,which was a lot money,one would buy a house ,car etc.War Vets are getting state pensions,shool fes for their children etc.Jabulan is simply a sellout.DOWN WITH SELLOUTS

cobra - 7 November 2014

As usual, brainwashed @reason comments on things he hasn't even read by his own admission. What a turd. Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!

Kt - 7 November 2014

Musona you said nothing important or new here.Zero. That information is known everywhere. But there is impotant information you are withholding from the readership. Come clean,loud and clear to the readers that in 1979, whilst in Harare seeing all those fond things with your own two eyes, you stayed in Highfields, and were a very hot ANC Hyuthi. The other day You mistakenly indicated that "we voted Zanu Pf into power in 1980'" To err is human , but to insist is hypocrisy. There was no such thing as Musona voting anyone into power you know that. (of course its not criminal so don't be shy to admit such a lie)

shame - 7 November 2014

@shame - 3 of your mother's boyfriends were hot UANC youths.

Musona - 7 November 2014

@Sdazo - idiot. My comments are directed at Daily News reporter Fungi Kwaramba not you. You can believe what you want - I never stopped you believing what you think is right for you - that is your choice. Let Fungi Kwaramba speak for himself. When I write comments and you give me dog's abuse I will hit back hard. If you don't like what I write tough - you will have to ignore my comments. I give as good as I get.

Musona - 7 November 2014

I had no reason to skip the border in the 1970s I had a family to look after. Those who skipped the border were either unemployed or fugitives from justice for non-political criminal offences like rape, fraud, murder, peddling mbanje, theft etc etc. War budget. I do not remember Smith moaning about the war budget. I recall his words - “We will go the distance”. When Zanu was voted into power in 1980 the Zimbabwe-Rhodesian dollar was on par with the British pound and equal to two US dollars. The country was in very, very good economic state. “Not in a thousand years” was a simple metaphor because very few people live up to 100 years let alone 200 years or 1000 years. When Smith spoke of 1000 years he was probably in his mid-50s and had less than 40-50 years on earth so what he said was, to me, a simple metaphor. Did people seriously think he meant 1000 years in reality? There must be something wrong with those people. Instead of arguing on what I wrote to add or subtract people start talking about war budget. There is no politician, black or white, from this country who went to Thatcher to say please can you convene a Conference - it was Thatcher's own initiative. Thatcher did not live in Rhodesia at all. She was just a newly appointed British PM trying her luck under NO pressure from anyone. There is no connection whatsoever between the attainment of black rule and the fighting by Zanu or Zapu.

Musona - 7 November 2014

musona uri mhata yemunhu

robodon - 7 November 2014

@robodon - feral bastard.

Musona - 7 November 2014

@Musona. You want to give the impression that all freedom fighters were just a bunch of fugitives. This is not consistant with the political developments inside Rhodesia from the 60's right up to 1979. By 1979, most of rural Zimbabwe was in the hands of either Zanu or Zapu. Only big towns and "Keeps" were still in the hands of the RF. There were "freed" zones where white Rhodesia had already given up. Young white Rhodesians were living the country and there was resistance against Smith even in the CIO ranks. Not all operatives were loyal to Ken Flower and many were wotking with British intelligence which had accepted the inevitable fall of Rhodesia. The war had reached Harare, thanks to the efforts of our gallant fighters. Our independence can on a combination of the armed struggle, diplomacy, changing attitudes in general and ofcourse sanctions on Rhodesia. Those sanctions were biting although Rhodesia was a bit risiliant.

selele - 7 November 2014

@selele - that is Zanu and Zapu barefaced lies. Mugabe and Nkomo were FORCED by the Front Line states who had had enough of the disruptions caused by the skirmishes and wanted an end to the skirmishes. I can give scores of examples of political groups which have fought for years but in the end it all came to zero. The fighters in Libya shown on TV are a good indication of what winning war is. That is, driving the enemy out and forming an government there and then not being forced by Front Line Presidents to go to a Conference. In the absence of an outright military victory Zapu and Zanu cannot claim to have done anything. Let me give you an example - in Sri Lanka the Tamil Tigers fought the Sinhalese government since 1976 but were defeated. Unita in Angola were fighting the MPLA government until 2002 but never got anywhere. The Farc guerrillas are still fighting the Colombian army since 1964. Without our votes Zanu would not have got into power in 1980. Fighting as a guerilla alone does not mean they liberated anyone or any country. You cannot win a war when you spend nights singing idiotic songs (pungwe) and downing fake helicopters like Joice Mujuru. No guerrilla army ever defeated a colonial army in Africa. The S Africans are much more level-headed, they don't spend time bragging that they defeated the S African army because people there know they were not capable of defeating the Apartheid army. It was far to sophisticated.

Musona - 7 November 2014

Here is a quotation from a publication in 1980 by Rex Nhongo:- “ZANLA, with some 10 000 trained men within Rhodesia, persisted in its effort to secure political control of the villagers. “Despite those numbers, by September 1979 ZANLA was in dire straits in the opinion of its commander, Rex Nhongo, because of Fire Force, the external raids, and the unease of the host country. “Nhongo believed that ZANLA would have found it difficult to get through the next dry seasons of mid-1980. “Peace came none too soon for ZANLA”.

Musona - 7 November 2014

Solomon Mujuru admitted himself in 1980 that the going was very tough yet those not born at the time and those who were infants have got the audacity to tell people like me what went on. This is something I have known since 1980 and someone comes up with their own embellished version. The above are the exact words by Rex Nhongo in 1980. When fighting a war you do not go around and say “Although we are fighting we are not going to win here” - you give a positive spin to boost the morale of the fighters which is what Zanu and Zapu were doing but the reality was it was tough.

Musona - 7 November 2014

@ Musona... Haaa baba imi mune nharo

TOCKY - 7 November 2014

Musona you have very good points. Of course you may miss the minor details here and there but your information is fairly accurate. However you really spoil your contributions by being foul and abusive. You are the one who initially started this foul contribution by abusing Shame simply for saying you were associated with UANC. Be calm and remain steady fast to your views without having to break down once challenged.

Tofara Tose - 7 November 2014

@Tofara Tose or shame - idiot. Your mother's 3 boyfriends were members of the UANC youth.

Musona - 7 November 2014

@Tocky - nonsense you fool.

Musona - 7 November 2014


Wilbert Mukori - 7 November 2014

Jabu 22 years trying to meet MuGabe????Hunzvi chairman????

Guranyanga (Dr) - 7 November 2014

@musona, you rubbish the dailynews and talk about it bias but from the number of comments you post it seems you keep reading it. Why? Why dont you just leave this rubbish?

gondo - 7 November 2014

@Musona very factual funny enuf no one is disputing your for the war vets they are a disgrace, they should have left this country continue under white rule, not to mention they are blocking progress in this country, which studies dd they do to verify effectiveness of their actions to achieve their so called goal of human emancipation and have they succeeded, I doubt not at all..simply because you had good intentions doesn't mean your actions are are all going to be forgotten when Mugabe goes coz your contribution to the plight of the ordinaryman is zero and you are outliving your relevance..

Simbiyebasa - 8 November 2014

zimbabweans dont need zanu pf or mdc.. we need to run this country as a company... profitably.. chete. stop wasting zimbabweans time and give us jobs , waters in our taps and electricity... its un human kuti zvinotomboenda. zimboz r un happy fearfull peopl. lets pray for harmony

ndini uya uya - 8 November 2014

What so special about these so called war vets ? Umnkonto wesizwe fought one of the strongest armies in the world ,SWAPO did the same but we have never heard them causing problems in their countries beating their chests that they liberated their countries . But here in zim these idiots who raped women , forced people to feed them like one Masuku who operated in our area never wanted to eat delele if you gave him vegetables he would brand you a sellout and you know what happened to those who were labelled sellouts so you will have to slaughter you last goat.They were so disrespectful they brought a lot of disorder in our villages by instilling fear and treating every one like mazyuu uthuvi matuzwi human worst. They were very good at running away from RDF all the time .As Musona said it they never defeated the RDF never the war ended bcoz of talks not barrel of a gun . They can lie to the bornfrees . Real war vets never meddle themselves into politics why can ' t they learn from mau mau, umnkonto wesizwe, swapo and the mai mai of this world idiots.

Diibulaanyika - 8 November 2014

Its not right to say he fears them,he just does not have respect for them, and they know it but due to economic considerations they continue to linger around him.

forbesk - 8 November 2014

@Musona I sometimes agree with you but for you to say people who joined Zanla and Zipra were unemployed or fugitives running away from justice is a bit unfair to some of us Zimbabweans that were genuinely fighting for our freedom. How did you come up with such a reason, of the thousands that went to Zambia or Mozambique how many were running away from justice? For your own information I went to Zambia in 1973 leaving a very good job I was doing in Bulawayo, getting paid well and having been one of the few to stay in the plots area that was reserved for whites then. I never committed any crime either but it was the system then that forced me to go liberate myself from that system (not that we are any free now). You can't tell me people fighting Zanu now are unemployed or are criminals, some could be but you don't paint everyone with the same brush.

Qawe laMaqawe - 8 November 2014

It seems these guys want mahala things during the war we fed them mahala ,After the war Mugabe gave them 50 000 dollars each mahala were did they put that money ? Now they want to meet him obvious to ask for more money so that they can buy cabbages at some growth points and feed roaming domestic animals . Pliz mugabe never listen to these people they are no more zimbabweans than the rest, ignore them. you did your job you gave them 50 000 thousands dollar each if they misused the money is not your ndaba they must go and hang,

Diibulaanyika - 8 November 2014

Musona unonatsotsvinya. Rimwe gore Bradley sec School neSt Alberts sec schol zvakavharwa vana vese vakatorwa vakaendwa navo kuhond. According to you these were fugitives or convicts ? washaya. Mugabe imbwa yemunhu akatengesa mavalues nemaobjectives ehondo paLancaster. why they came out not seeing eye to eye with the majority especially Tongo and Nkomo. Mugabe kakanga kaneta nekugara kure naSally kaakuda kutonga. kakasainira kuti hatitore minda kusvika 10 years dzapera asi hondo yaiva yekutora ivhu. Mumalawian uyu haana wishes of the true people of zimbabwe at heart.

wanetsa - 8 November 2014

Ian Smith declared Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from Britain(UK) in November 1965. Britain wanted a shared governance for all citizens of Rhodesia ie whites(minority), coloured and indian (previledged) and blacks(majority). To Smith and his group, blacks were inferior and could not be treated as equals to whites, which 1 man 1 vote (universal sufferage) would represent. Britain had an obligation to defend the rest of the population (blacks) who were not represented in Government then. A lot of meetings were conducted by Britain and the affected parties (stakeholders) to resolve the matter and bring normalcy to then Rhodesia, which was at war and under sanctions. So VaMusona you are wrong to say Margaret Thatcher did it all on her own, without anyone asking her to. It was a burning issue on the agenda of her own Government (as she took over as newly elected PM of Britain, (as colonial master of Rhodesia )and the rest of world in bodies such as Frontline States( liberated neighbours of Zimbabwe), OAU (now AU) and United Nations. There are gaps in your information sir. In 1980 I was a Form 3 student and well aware of political goings on and had brothers, sisters, uncles and other relatives involved in the political struggle or at the war front. Tell the truth as it was, not selectively and refrain from abusive language to have constructive and valuable discourse.

Dhidhidhi - 8 November 2014

@gondo - idiot. My aim is to put the record straight. I am telling the reporter Fungi Kwaramba that he does not know what he is talking about because it was not Zanu or Zapu who were responsible for the attainment of black rule in this land but the ordinary people who voted Zanu into power in 1980 after Muzorewa's reign and you say I keep reading this online newspaper? I read ALL Zimbabwe's online newspapers. Since Grace started her political career I now also read the Herald. I don't always agree with what they write and I say so in my comments.

Musona - 8 November 2014

Here is a quotation from a publication in 1980 by Rex Nhongo:- “ZANLA, with some 10 000 trained men within Rhodesia, persisted in its effort to secure political control of the villagers. “Despite those numbers, by September 1979 ZANLA was in dire straits in the opinion of its commander, Rex Nhongo, because of Fire Force, the external raids, and the unease of the host country. “Nhongo believed that ZANLA would have found it difficult to get through the next dry seasons of mid-1980. “Peace came none too soon for ZANLA”.

Musona - 8 November 2014

What I write is what I experienced with my own eyes. Age matters very very very in Zimbabwean history. I agree some school kids were forced to skip the borders by Zanu fighters. These were children who had no idea what the fighting was about. One of them is Joice Mujuru. The ones who were teenagers whom I know who were from Salisbury were, as I said, the unemployed, fugitives from justice, drifters, school dropouts, desperadoes and juvenile delinquents not decent married men or young men in work or at school. Why would someone decided to leave their home, their wives and children or good jobs to go into unknown jungles full of wild animals to fight an indefinite war? Running away from the second most prosperous economy in Africa? Only fools would have done this. It's nonsense to say blacks were not free. I felt more freer than I feel now under black government. And I was definitely much richer under white government. It is the greatest nonsense to say we were not free. I was free to do what I wanted under white rule and nothing or nobody held me back. Under whites all we blacks were EXEMPT from paying income tax and corporation tax for businesses. It was only after Zanu got into power that all blacks were compelled to pay income tax at a rate of 45% of one's salary and black businesses were compelled to pay corporation tax. This does not mean much to those who started working after 1980 - they don't know any different. The question is - did those who skipped the borders in the 1970s know this? No. We led very very very very very fulfilling lives under the whites. You cannot base your arguments on hearsay. That your grandmother told you this and that. Some of it might be lies especially if it is from someone from the Reserves.

Musona - 8 November 2014

One sentence should read, "Why would someone decide to leave their home, their wives and children or good jobs to go into unknown jungles full of wild animals to fight an indefinite war?"

Musona - 8 November 2014

@Qawe laMaqawe - you are not telling the truth. You must have done something to leave a good job in the second most prosperous economy in Africa to go to Zambia which was teetering on the brink of economic collapse. What injustice are you talking about? Are you getting justice now? What exactly do you mean by justice? How many people skipped the border and how many were left inside working? You talk of the system what system? I think you are just parroting what others are saying.

Musona - 8 November 2014

Here is someone tying himself in knots - he says he left a GOOD JOB in Rhodesia because the system was UNJUST! How can a system be unjust when you admit that same system gave you or got you a GOOD JOB? Then the system was just - there was something wrong with you or you did something bad at work. Pack of lies.

Musona - 8 November 2014

Age matters very very very much in Zimbabwean politics full of barefaced lies. History has been embellished to suit certain politicians.

Musona - 8 November 2014

I partially tend to agree with what Musona has said. When Smith said "Not in a thousand years" what does that mean ? My understanding is that, he new it would take quite some time for blacks to understand the "white system" of running a government. Unless we devise our own "system", it is surely going to take us at least 1 000 years for us all to enjoy the benefits of independence. That is my own understanding.

ndizvo - 8 November 2014

Ko vamwe mavekuita basa rekutuka musona kunze kwekupindura zvinemusoro.

Der - 8 November 2014

the british are now coming because they realise that the zim government is desperate and it is mortgaging the country and they realise they are late to the party

dakorayi - 8 November 2014

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