Zanu PF wars suck in war vets

HARARE - War veterans are standing by their embattled leader, Christopher Mutsvangwa, effectively setting themselves up on a warpath with the leadership of President Robert Mugabe’s warring post-congress Zanu PF.

Mutsvangwa — the chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA), and a close ally of under-fire Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa — was earlier this week booted out of Zanu PF’s Mashonaland West structures on charges of insulting the First Family.

The vote of no confidence against Mutsvangwa is not only threatening his Cabinet and party positions, but has also put his leadership of the Zanu PF-aligned ZNLWVA in jeopardy, as the factional and succession wars devouring the ruling party continue to escalate.

This is more so after the spokesperson of the ruling party, Simon Khaya Moyo, told the Daily News on Wednesday that Mutsvangwa’s banishment by Mashonaland West province was above board — which effectively means that he is now in the political wilderness.

But the veterans of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle, who are by and large said to be rooting for Mnangagwa in Zanu PF’s brutal succession dogfights, have now defiantly stuck their necks out in defence of Mutsvangwa.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, ZNLWVA secretary-general Victor Matemadanda said no-one outside the association’s membership could call for Mutsvangwa’s ouster.

“I am not sure if those who accuse him of whatever they are accusing him have the evidence against him. But from our perspective as war veterans, there is no one who is not one of us who can say Mutsvangwa has failed in his mandate and oust him,” Matemadanda said.

He claimed that war veterans across the country were “highly-incensed” by the reports that suggested that Mutsvangwa was under the cosh within the ruling party.

“Comrades want to know what is happening to our leader because they believe he is the most industrious chairperson ever to lead them, and the evidence is there.

“I have not been around myself and now I am getting onto the ground to gather the facts. We would also want the chairman to address us as soon as he is back, because he is currently out of the country,” Matemadanda added.

This stance could see the ZNLWVA leadership engaging in combat with Zanu PF bigwigs, after Mugabe recently rapped Mutsvangwa and other ex-combatants who he accused of behaving as if they had a monopoly over the liberation war.

Signalling that tempers could soon reach boiling point over the matter, Matemadanda urged his troops to “remain calm and patient and not allow ourselves to be pushed into doing the wrong thing”.

He also expressed concern at the fact that there were “elements” in the ruling party who were allegedly choosing to disregard Mugabe after he spoke strongly against resorting to vindictive ways of resolving conflicts in Zanu PF at the party’s recently-ended Victoria Falls conference.

“We are war veterans and not necessarily Zanu PF, and we get disturbed when after the president had seemingly managed to handle the issues that were considered hot at the conference, and it ended without incident with him calling for unity and discouraging unnecessary votes of no confidence in the party, we still have some elements defying him and suspending officials who are above their level,” he said.

Announcing Mutsvangwa’s sacking on Monday, Zanu PF deputy provincial chairperson for Mashonaland West, Keith Guzah, said the province had also recommended that the Norton legislator be recalled from Parliament, in addition to being expelled from the brawling ruling party.

Guzah took issue with Mutsvangwa’s alleged recent utterances to the media when he warned against comrades “confusing the institution of marriage and that of the State” — with his party foes later saying these words were the same “in meaning and import as the outrageous ‘bedroom coup’ remarks that got Jabulani Sibanda expelled from the party”.

To that extent, Guzah added, his executive had found Mutsvangwa “guilty of gross misconduct, disloyalty and treachery according to section 266(b) and 266(c) of the party’s constitution”.

This also came after Mugabe launched a scathing attack on boastful war veterans, a thinly-disguised assault that was said to be directed at Mutsvangwa, during his closing remarks at Zanu PF’s conference.

“Vamwe vanoti handibviswe. Unobviswa, teerera zvinotaurwa nevamwe (Some say they are untouchable and can’t be removed from their positions. They can be removed and should listen to what others say). This is a people’s party, it’s not your party.

“Zvekuti ini ndiri ngana ndakaenda kuhondo iwe hauna kuenda kuhondo, nonsense! (there are those that discriminate others based on war credentials. That is nonsense). We should not hear that at all from anyone,” Mugabe charged.

But Matemadanda said it was not certain that Mugabe’s tirade was directed at his boss.

“He (Mugabe) is our leader and has the right to correct things when he notices deviant behaviour amongst his children, but to say he was directing his attacks on so and so may not be true.

“The comments are subject to various interpretations because he did not mention anyone by name,” Matemadanda said.

In the meantime, analysts say with Mnangagwa struggling to live up to the popular caricature of his nickname, that of a ruthless crocodile, in Zanu PF’s seemingly-unstoppable factional and succession wars, his supporters are being pummelled left, right and centre by their marauding party foes.

Just like what happened a decade ago when many of his most ardent supporters were decimated after the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration, after being accused of plotting to oust Mugabe from power, analysts say history appears to be repeating itself with the VP’s close allies again being picked off one by one by their party enemies, like lambs to the slaughter.

Lacoste, as Mnangagwa is fondly referred to by his loyal followers, again stands accused in all this of doing little that is visible in the public domain to protect leading members of his support group who are on the receiving end of the savage and unrelenting factional mauling.

At the heart of the Midlands godfather’s political travails and those of his supporters, is his long-mooted aspiration to succeed Mugabe — an ambition that is rabidly opposed by the post-congress Zanu PF’s Young Turks known as the Generation 40 (G40), who claim that he is “patently unelectable”.

Party insiders have previously claimed in various interviews with the Daily News that the G40 faction — which allegedly includes Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao, Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo — is trying to nudge First Lady Grace Mugabe to join the succession bun-fight.

Among the alleged allies of Mnangagwa who have recently come under severe pressure from inside Zanu PF are Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator Justice Mayor Wadyajena, Water minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, former Manicaland women’s league chairperson Happiness Nyakuedzwa, and the power couple of Monica and Christopher Mutsvangwa.

Wadyajena stands accused of denigrating Grace while he was allegedly engaging in “political banter” with businessman and fellow Zanu PF official Jimayi Muduvuri during the ruling party’s just-ended annual conference.

Nyakuedzwa and another alleged VP close ally, former Mashonaland Central youth league chairperson Godfrey Tsenengamu, were recently suspended from the ruling party for five years on allegations of fanning factionalism.

Former Harare provincial chairperson Godwills Masimirembwa, former Harare women’s league chairperson Ratidzo Mukarati and former Masvingo chairperson Paradzai Chakona — all perceived strong backers of Mnangagwa — have also suffered votes of no confidence that were upheld by the party.

Mutsvangwa’s wife, Monica — a deputy minister — was also recently booted out of the women’s league for defying the First Family, while Muchinguri-Kashiri came under severe shellacking in Manicaland and in a recent politburo meeting.

And there is no record in all these cases that Mnangagwa has done much to support or protect his allies, a failing that well-placed sources say the VP was guilty of in 2004/5 when his supporters who allegedly included Daniel Shumba, Mike Madiro, Josiah Hungwe and July Moyo were cast into the political wilderness for fighting for him.


Comments (21)

The war vets are fighting a losing battle in this one. I hope that by now they knew that whatever Grace or Robert says goes. There is no other alternative view.

Inyika - 18 December 2015

@Inyika, its not about Grace or Mugabe, its about discipline and respect. Lets respect the First Family. If you keep your mouth shut, you don't lose anything. Once people are not disciplined we will have blood shed in the party. We supporters of Zanu PF, are saying, there are no untouchables.

Ngwekazi - 18 December 2015

Its about Grace and Robert. There is an obvious bedroom coup happening.f you dont want to open your eyes, thats your fault. How can Keith disappoint a person appointed by the president? is that discipline? You must continue fighting...we are enjoying this one. so who is next? and when will we see a vote of no confidence againt the very very old and tattered one? the ever-falling one?

Bona - 18 December 2015

Mugabe and Grace are not God.Any member of the party should be able to challenge their view and opinions.

Kufandada - 18 December 2015

Mutsvangwa is our chairman,warvets chairman.Noone suspence him but us warvets.we warvets r zanla n zipra,our 1 leader was Gen Tongogara.we crossed bak alive and well n in unity.We will not be cowed by bastards who joined zanu in 2000.I suffered in moza n I promise all this kasu guy n friends dont touch my chairman.he is fighting on projects for us ,thats what pains yu.we now want to salute only 1 commander now,Gen Chiwenga n Valerio Sibanda ,nomore.Toomuch confusion at Mutsvangwa can only be dismised by Gen Chiwenga until zanu sorts itself.The Presidium plse excuse us,we have our structures in the military.stay far from us now.We dont want this confusion to come to us in the military.Dont touch us.

viola gwena - 18 December 2015

hanyanani chidhoma chekwachivi!!!

josphat mugadzaweta - 18 December 2015

Unozni remain with mouth shut kuti mave vana here , inga even muma families chaimo mune ma diffrences chero zvigunwe zvemunhu hazvina kuenzana wani . Grace naMugabe kuita mwari here tibvrii apa .Fight on comrades no one is safe, withthis kind of mentality mese muno pedzwa na Gracw soilder on.

Haiwa - 18 December 2015

Dailynews is just echoing Moyo tweets , handiti you said Ngwena on the ropes zvikashaya basa , now you are bringing on the 2004 issues , because Moyo has failed in his quest to unsit Ngwena. Handiti akaiti 2015 ticha dzidza zvaka wanda akadzidz ndiyani , ndiyo G40 the fact that the pres is supporting and are still runnung around like headless chickens means they have failed weak ,weak ,weak . Of course Ngwena is an under dog and will suffer casualities , but Moyo is changing tune going back to 2004 nekuti 2015 afloppa. Mese muri kuda musoro weNgwena manje hailume. Mamboti madii ko muchalista maevents but zvino shaya basa. Chero ukadii musoro we Ngwena maya

Haiwa - 18 December 2015

yes gwena spot on.I read yo struggles for us bt i hav tried to stay quiet bt not this tyme.And i remember yu comrade.Urimupenyu hanzvadzi?vaudze isu magandanga kana ku zanu Ngwena mamubisa ,mabisa isu zanla.Ngwena wil simply come n be our commander in the association bt pachatanga pafiwa.kudimburwa gumbo muhondo ini kuzotandwa na Kasukuwere?shuwa?This time chimbambaira muchuunu.chinoputikira tese.

CDR Kambanje - 18 December 2015

Uka ona Munhu ochema chema nezve 2004/5 ziva kuti akundikana , iVO VAKA SUSPENDED VACHO VARI KUCHEMACEMAH here ?

Tino - 18 December 2015

By pretending to be liking Mugabe,Matemadanda is clearly afraid of the old man. He has on choice but to go against his conscience and engages himself in bootlicking the very man who sends his wife and Kasukuwere to trash the role played by war veterans in liberating this country. Mugabe. The so- called 'vote of no confidence' passed on a number of members are instigated by Grace Mugabe and sanctioned by his husband. If Jabulani Sibanda was arrested for alleging that 'there was a bedroom coup' what prevents Grace to order the sacking of Mutsvangwa if what he said is being interpreted as similar to Jabu's utterances. It is quite wrong to say Mr Mugabe condemns the so-called 'vote of no confidence',he is the one who fires and hires once Grace recommends.

Jonathiel Moyowaonda - 18 December 2015

bedroom coup jabulani sibanda said , grace to hell with u

robson - 18 December 2015

why would people worry about these so called war volunteers as if they are very important . These are the people who were dumped by zanu for 17 years after independence .They made noise and scared Mugabe such that he gave them each 50 000 zim dollars destroying our economy in the process .From there they had been hero worshiping Mugabe hoping he will again give them some more money . These are the most stupid of all zimbabweans all what they think is one day they will be given more money by Mugabe again hence they worked very hard to please him by destroying commercial farms which were owned by white zimbabweans which were the back bone of our economy . They are fools demety.They ate our livestocks during war and raped women killed innocent people i hate them

Diibulaanyika - 18 December 2015

To be honest war vets are respected everywhere in the world. In this case if they are saying no to Gire and Bob at least we have a body who tells it it like it is . Whether zim has issues with war vets or not , but in the Uk even USA , there are people who fight for them to get benefits . In USA its even an election issue , they are respected though they donot get much , but people fight for them in these parts of the world. Just imagine where Gire and Bob do what they what , at least we need such a body to resist , whether they win or lose, but information i got on the ground is that most of them are itching to cross over to Teurai so can the current ZANU afford that.

Anesu - 18 December 2015

@Anesu, its true that war veterans are respected the world over but you must remember that those war veterans have earned that respects. The Zim war vets haven't and they have done the opposite. They have been actively involved on one side of politics and having been involved in brutal killing of opposition supporters. They have been very selfish in that they have destroyed the economy for their own benefit without care for anybody else. They led the invasion of forms and killing people in the process and I could go on. So hence they have lost all the respect. In their defence they can say they have been abused by politicians but they are old enough to think.

Inyika - 18 December 2015

wasting time ... we only want to know which faction has killed which member of which faction??? Come on Zanu ... start already!!

crazy - 18 December 2015

Never will any of us forget the great sacrifices our war vets made to liberate Zimbabwe from colonial oppression. This being said, most of them now need to focus clearly and keep things in proper perspective and not involve themselves in politics or decisions made by our leadership. We just will not tolerate it and all the war veterans must clearly understand their position in this whole affair. They need to realize that all political parties, ZANU PF being no exception have leadership and power struggles with old wood removed to suit the prevailing circumstances and conditions. ZANU PF will emerge from this fracas as a strong and united organisation equipped to deal with modern times. Forward with ZANU PF. Down with the dead and decaying wood.

Face Reality - 19 December 2015

Vana Matemadanda vacho vakagadzwa nani havanyari. Zvese izvi mazihubwe hapana chirimungwara mazivanhu arikungokara. Vese mafake kubva kuthe so called council of elders, maelders aani? ndiyani akaita elder wechii ivo vakaenda nekudzoka kuhondo pamwechete?Imwe vocabulary ndeye hypocrisy kuti zvingopfuura

G Madiro - 19 December 2015

ana Ngwikazi tibvirereyi apa isu tiri ana mafira kureva first family yakatodhakwa hayo muzukuru na sekuru vake hava nyare kudai kuzvi isa pamusoro pemutemo hakuna zvakapusa kudaro dis tym hava lume

mukanya - 19 December 2015

These war vets made a mistake when they prayed Mugabe and beat the ordinary people for his sake.They showed in numerous occasions that they were his running dogs.They alienated themselves from the public by declaring that they will go to the bush if an opposition wins an election.These actions clearly showed that they are Mugabe's own and no relationship whatsoever with the people.So now Mugabe can do whatever he likes with them.

vilbram avril - 19 December 2015

It is Mutsvangwa and Matemadanda who moved swiftly to push out some of their own war vets [ JB led adminstration] facing a similar sistuation. What will stop other war vets to push them out,. Ndimi makazvikanyira mega, nyaya yenyu yekuzviedza magamba. Nhasi mave kuti hamutongwe neZanu pf. VaMugabe rovai mawar vets ne wire they belong to you.

X-MAN IV - 19 December 2015

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