HARARE - War veterans have accused senior members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) for being counter-revolutionaries after they allegedly backed the ouster of the association’s chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa.
Mutsvangwa — a close ally of under-fire Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa — was booted out of Zanu PF’s Mashonaland West structures allegedly at the G40’s behest on charges of insulting the First Family as the factional and succession wars devouring the ruling party continue to escalate.
In a statement yesterday, the Mashonaland East chapter of ZNLWVA stood by its embattled leader, effectively setting itself up on a warpath with the leadership of President Robert Mugabe’s warring post-congress Zanu PF.
“The ZNLWVA Mashonaland East Province has noted with concern that there are some members within the national executive who are on an anti-revolutionary mission to destabilise the leadership of national chairman Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa who was duly elected at the association’s national congress in Masvingo,” Stanford Maguma, the provincial secretary-general said in the statement.
“The provincial executive is warning that it will not hesitate to disown and disassociate with elements bent on destabilising the association and its national leadership.
“The Mashonaland East province is solidly behind the leadership of Cde Mutsvangwa and his leadership.”
Mutsvangwa’s wife, Monica — a deputy minister and war veteran as well — was also recently booted out of the party’s women’s league for defying the first family.
The war veterans’ 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. 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 Victoria Falls annual conference late last year.
“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.