'VP war vets defy Mugabe'

HARARE - A faction of war veterans aligned to Team Lacoste yesterday appeared to want to take President Robert Mugabe head-on, standing defiantly behind ousted Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) chairperson, Chris Mutsvangwa.

Mutsvangwa received a heavy shellacking from a visibly angry Mugabe on Friday after the War Veterans minister had misled some former liberation struggle fighters to come to Harare last week, on the pretext that they would be addressed by the president.

Despite many people, both inside and outside Zanu PF, believing that Mutsvangwa’s political career in the ruling party is finished, after his public savaging by Mugabe, former ZNLWVA secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda, said yesterday he and other comrades still stood solidly behind him.

Matemadanda said as far as he was concerned, Mutsvangwa was still the ZNLWVA leader as he had been elected by war veterans around the country, and who were not unhappy with him.

“Mutsvangwa was not elected by the people in this room (journalists), he was elected by war veterans ... as far as we are concerned as war veterans, Mutsvangwa is our chairperson. He has a term to serve and he is leading us well,” Matemadanda said.

Almost provocatively, he added that Mutsvangwa “is not leading the president, he is leading us ... we do not have the mandate to say Mutsvangwa cannot lead us because we did not elect him in the first place”.

Setting the stage for a potentially bruising battle with Mugabe, Matemadanda also said all regional structures of the ZNLWVA were behind Mutsvangwa.

“We have provincial chairpersons here who are in support of him ... if others do not want Mutsvangwa we are saying the war veterans will continue with him.

“The comrades that chose him are saying he should continue. And if we do not do that the comrades are going to push us out and remain with Mutsvangwa. We are sitting on a mandate that we were given by the electorate and we are saying what the electorate is saying,” he said.

But former ZNLWVA spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya, said war veterans were happy that Mugabe had apologised to them for the way they were treated by police on Thursday — who broke off their unsanctioned meeting in Harare.

“The events of Thursday, February 18, 2016 are deplorable and have cast a dark shadow over the relationship between the revolutionary elements in our party Zanu PF and the State.

“We are however, encouraged and humbled by the prompt intervention of President Robert Mugabe in extending an apology and words of comfort to the injured comrades.

“The president’s words have indeed complemented the medication the wounded comrades are receiving. The intervention by His Excellency has confirmed the historic bonds of comradeship which have existed between His Excellency and war veterans,” he said.

The battering of war veterans by police last week came after Mutsvangwa called war veterans from across the country’s provinces to a meeting in Harare, on the pretext that they were to be addressed by Mugabe.

Police subsequently ordered them to disperse when they congregated outside the City Sports Centre, arguing that the meeting was unsanctioned and therefore unlawful.

Soon after, the elderly vets were tear-gassed and water-sprayed, forcing them to scamper for cover — and leaving many of them stranded in Harare, with nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep.


Comments (23)

Well done Matemadanda ..hatidi udzvinyiriri , Chris aita sei , Inga Mahoka , Moyo , Nakasukuwer they are not being publicly reprimanded and Grace yet they are causing havoc. The person who send the police to tear gas the helpless, unarmed eledrly is the one on the wrong, These people were waiting not demonstrating ...Mugabe tell Mahoka to apologise first , Grace's insults to stop during rsllies then we listen to you otherwise SHUT THE F'''''''K UP.

hameno - 21 February 2016

War Vets should be the voice against Grace's rallies rants. Each time she chats rubbish call for a meeting and counter....Stand up to your beliefs and your identity ... it does not what matter what people say, Bob is trying to drown your voice because you are the only people to stand up to Grace. Musavhundutsirwe kuSouth Africa kuna Malema wani...Give Grace a run for her money. Grace is only FL because of you ...agarisa kukanganwa zvazuro nehope...Be the voice of the voiceless....Yes you were used before to do wrong , but this is the time to correct thtose mistakes and liberate the people once more.

War vets - 21 February 2016

How does it help if one kicks you and then say sorry .It was thePresdent who sent the police and then later apologized its funny

Gibson chauke - 21 February 2016

Its nw sickening ,these atempts to dislodge mutsvangwa,even the president has joined in ,to try the same.we like to keep our respect for the president.but plse dont show to be aiding the g40.mahoka insults vp,in public,rite in front of yu.no action frm yu.1st lady insults vp n warvets publicly cozing seriouse problems in the party n state,again no anger from yu.johnathan moyo defies yo directive not to twit bt soon after that meeting he insults us via twiter,seriouse arogance.and again no anger frm yu sir.its unfortunate we hav to doubt yo seriouseness on this isue.becoz to us the person yu shuld discipline is the one who sent that riot squad to kill us.thats the man yu shuld be angry wth.its like disciplining the raped victim n allow the raper to walk free.why.1st lady needs to be disciplined and tot to respect senior cadrs.so until we see fairness its a hard pill for us to take n swallow.we beg yu to leav mutsvangwa to us.

viola gwena - 21 February 2016

@Viola support u 100%, but you have to be united, once divided you will fall. The president doesnot want anyone standing up to his wife and the WV are doing that. He is angry at all the warvets , you donot apologise , but saying Chris has to take the blame , there was no need for police interference this time he crossed the line. You need to fight for your identity and legacy otherwise its gone. Stand united behind your leader and challenge whatever Grace says this is free world , if unchallenged Grace will rule .

Stand united - 21 February 2016

The war veterans have destroyed the country as they keep on being used by politicians to advance their motives. When Mugabe saw that he was about to lose votes and favour with the republic he started giving war veterans some money $50k and the money was given without a good GDP base. Our reserves did not allow for such to happen but he kept on paying the war veterans to the extent of printing even more money to facilitate this crazy idea to the extent the economy begin to feel the pinch as if that was not enough the president used the war veterans to unrighteously enrich a few people by taking productive farm lands of which a few are using to full potential . Many people who got the farms stopped production either due to lack of resources or incompetence in the area of farming. They moved from commercial farming to subsistence farming how do u expect the nation to benefit from that. The war veterans were always used to derail the opposition parties during elections intimidating the old folk and the rural and town folk. It's a shame all this was done with all your eyes open and you did not see anything wrong ??? The same machinations are now being used on you and your leaders where in the lead to remove Dr Joice Mujuru and his supporters from the belingered party. With all due respect war veterans have done their part in liberating the nation but they are the ones to blame for the state the nation is in now. Last year an expensive congress was held and none of the people complained. The best thing that Zimbabwe need now is a new leader but war credentials are not a requirement but good governance and an old person previously on the helm of the party who has passed retirement age is not the solution either. The fighting should stop and people come out clean with their intentions not secretly send war veterans to do the campaign while he is out. Grace is only doing what any woman could have done to protect her interest. Youth and war veterans are all machinations of staying it getting in power.

Zim Analyst - 21 February 2016

if mutsvangwa had invited war vets saying we are going to demonstrate against people first or tsvangirai, they were not going to be gassed by riot police.

r munemo - 22 February 2016

Mukadzi uyu akafumuka rough

Makwiramiti - 22 February 2016

what happened to the war-vets and the vp this week is not new. this is exactly how dissenting voices have been treated in the past. when it was done to the likes of gumbo, and sibanda some of you celebrated. now it has come back to hound you and you now see its evilness. that is how zanu operates. you are a friend as long as you agree with the chiefs of the party once you see otherwise, you become an enemy.

zvirozviyedzwa - 22 February 2016

i have no respect for either. towards elections these war veterans are used to intimidate people around the country and today you are crying foul because you have turned victims.

mhofu - 22 February 2016

How do you respect a student of Machiavelli? He is the problem that old man. As long as he gets respect to abuse others the country will be non-existent in 5 years. N

moyondizvo - 22 February 2016

How do you respect a student of Machiavelli? He is the problem that old man. As long as he gets respect to abuse others the country will be non-existent in 5 years. N

moyondizvo - 22 February 2016

Viola ndizvo.yu hv guts.again yu warvets must liberate us,yu did it on smith,nw its mugabe.we young pple hav failed,tsvangirai,ncube,biti,n all.its back to yu again the elderly.yu know yo own.so I will support viola for nw coz thats the real deal to me

ino - 22 February 2016

@ino; can you not see that vhiora sees light in small and intermittent partens that makes it difficult for her to face the reality! rhobhati sent porisi to beat her and he say sorry vhiora its mutsvangwa. why didn't rhobhati sent the porisi to beat mutsvangwa if he has issues with chris. Its like me having a fault with you and go on to beat your frind thoroughly! it is the boot licking and rectum chewing onrhobhati by these war vets that is backfiring some like this good siste fo ours doen not see! my people perish....!

SaManyika Chaiye - 22 February 2016

Why do oppressed zanuoids always kissing bob's azzz. Like the man can kill their whole family and next day he apologises and the war vets will be like on bob's coattails licking his boots. SMH.

bafryo - 22 February 2016

I dnt like lacoste bt fo g40 to send riot squad on 60 yr olds ,vakomana.so if its us yuths ,they wil send helicopters n tanks,sam 10 surface to sea missiles.viola sorry gogo

chaka - 22 February 2016

The issue here that many cannot see is that ngwena s image has greatly improved unlike bfo.this whole saga its ngwena who has greatly gained.his image politicaly has sky rocked,unlike grace.1st lady has lost lots of respect.bt maybe its lack of backers on the platform,wth ngwena hving the viola gwena staunchly backing him.

dube - 22 February 2016

@dube,tsvangirai has diibu,mujuru has zviro,1st lagy hs samanyika n ngwena hs viola.marasika papi blaz.

rure - 22 February 2016

Maybe the othr lot is nt doing a good job like viola.the difference I noticed is that while the others use abusive language ,viola shuns it n uses persuasive language.bt at times she has attempted to use profenity.

jabu - 22 February 2016

Yu cant expect tsvangi s image to rise when his agent is so abusive n annoying.tribal.trys to divide shonas n ndebeles .

bob - 22 February 2016

Maybe viola I a trained diplomat,others r nt.bt it depends wth the party.maybe diibu is aticulating mdc thinking.n sama yika takes notes frm 1st lady every morning,yawning.

titus - 22 February 2016

@ tito budai mudare munosvine matumbu enguruwe wapfanha. kana mapedza moaisi muguhwi rembwa. mondidaidza kana mapedza manzwa!

SaManyika Chaiye - 22 February 2016

pa live chaipo ma war vets makajairirwa chaizvo moputitswa netuma purisa twakapinzwa basa nekumhanya utu imi maibata ghidhi pachimoya apa pedzezvo monzi sorry sorry hahahahah dus funny kachembere kakaoma dzoro aka

mukanya - 24 February 2016

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