Mugabe tears into Mnangagwa allies

HARARE - In yet another ominous warning to the Zanu PF faction that is rallying behind embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, President Robert Mugabe yesterday tore into the VP’s followers who have been openly denigrating the nonagenarian’s influential wife Grace.

Speaking at his belated 92nd birthday celebrations that were held at the Great Zimbabwe monuments in Masvingo, Mugabe also savaged Zanu PF leaders who were fanning factionalism in the warring governing party, taking another swipe at war veterans — a jibe targeted in the main at those linked to Mnangagwa — who pompously flaunt their liberation struggle credentials.

He publicly put on notice the beleaguered VP’s followers who have been insulting Grace left, right and centre, warning them that they risked being booted put of Zanu PF, while also bemoaning the fact that the ruling party had lost direction.

“We all heard what (Zanu PF youth league chairperson Pupurai) Togarepi said about his commitment to ensuring that the party is refocused and that discipline is instilled in the party, not this trend we are seeing these days where very young people in the party disrespect the party leadership, insulting even my wife, the wife of the president, and sending information to foreign media such as Al Jazeera.

“It is really a shame. Who could be behind all this because a child with proper parents cannot say that,” Mugabe fumed, taking a swipe at senior party officials whom he accused of misleading the youths.

“There are some of us senior party officials who are behind this behaviour by the youths that is destroying the unity of our nation.

“The genesis of factionalism comes from the so-called political gurus, but the youths are the vanguard of the party and we do not want divisions and when you see it youths, please blow the whistle,” he added.

Mugabe once again admitted that Zanu PF had lost direction, pledging to land his support to the party’s youth league in its endeavour to bring the former liberation movement back to its glory of bygone decades.

The long-ruling nonagenarian also praised the work of Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, giving him a blank cheque to dismiss wayward party officials.

“He is our commissar and we often hear there is chaos here and there because he takes action against those who will have lost the way, sometimes suspending them.

“Some of the issues will be very minor but others choose to demonstrate against him instead of engaging him. It is uncalled for because maybe he will have seen that things are going out of hand,” Mugabe said.

He also lashed at war veterans who flaunt their liberation war credentials at every turn, in the process defending Zanu PF deputy youth league secretary Kudzai Chipanga who has come under severe criticism in State media for tussling with the liberation fighters.

“There were lies in the media that Chipanga had insulted war veterans, yet he had not done so and I said does it mean that he has also insulted us. How could he possibly have done that?

“I know the youths want to work together with war veterans. But we do not want war veterans who say we are the only ones who are important because we went to war, we do not want that,” Mugabe said.

This is not the first time in recent months that the nonagenarian has either come to the defence of his powerful wife Grace or openly tucked into Team Lacoste, as the Mnangagwa faction is known, as Zanu PF’s factional and succession wars get uglier and dirtier by the day.

An angry Mugabe — thoroughly fed up with his brawling underlings — attacked War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa in a televised address to the nation a fortnight ago, virtually signalling the end of the career both in the former liberation movement and in government of the former leader of the war veterans, an alleged kingpin of the Mnangagwa faction.

The president was flanked by his two deputies as he made his unusual address — with a decidedly surly-looking Mnangagwa to his right, and a comparatively relaxed Phelekezela Mphoko to his left.

Without mincing his words, Mugabe pointedly accused the garullous Mutsvangwa of having misled war veterans into trooping into Harare then — where they were battered by police — after they were made to believe that the nonagenarian would address them.

“For him (Mutsvangwa) to have called a meeting about which we knew nothing about, in circumstances in which he had not clearly sought permission from the authorities in violation therefore of the law, and he being a minister, he cannot at the end after the law and order officers have taken action against the meeting and the war veterans complain that he was ill-treated.

“He must bear the responsibility,” Mugabe thundered, adding ominously that Mutsvangwa would pay for his misdemeanours.

“He (Mutsvangwa) has acted in a manner we describe as irresponsible and a manner that brings the name of the party and government into disrepute. We regret that they (war veterans) suffered this (police battering) but the man to blame is their minister and, of course, he has to answer why he did that without authority,” the nonagenarian fumed further.

Mugabe’s outburst followed an unprecedented move by riot police to clamp down on a group of war veterans loyal to Mnangagwa — tear-gassing and water-spraying them before unyieldingly forcing them to disperse — after the former freedom fighters had attempted to flex their muscles and congregate unlawfully in Harare.

The chaos came as Zanu PF’s ugly internal ructions get deadlier, with the party faction linked to Mnangagwa increasingly mounting an open rebellion against Mugabe and Grace.

So aggressive have some of the utterances and tactics being employed by Team Lacoste become, that there has been for some time real fear within Zanu PF that the ruling party’s escalating brawls could soon boil over into bloody conflict.

Speaking in coded language yesterday, Mugabe also warned unnamed party bigwigs who he accused of taking advantage of the economic challenges affecting youths in the country to abuse them in their pursuit of selfish interests.

“Even us senior party members must stop to work behind the scenes with youths playing our games. That is not the way to get to power. Factionalism is coming from the so-called party gurus who abuse the youths.

“Factionalism, factionalism, and I repeat factionalism has no place at all in Zanu PF… because we are a platform for discussion, a platform for pitting one idea against another,” he said.

Despite his advanced age and growing speculation over his health, Mugabe has studiously avoided either naming or encouraging the emergence of a successor — thereby stoking the seemingly unstoppable infighting within the party, amid an intense jostling for his position.

In his hour-long speech that barely scratched the humanitarian crisis devouring large parts of the country due to this year’s drought and Zimbabwe’s dying economy, Mugabe repeatedly banged on about the worsening indiscipline in his beleaguered party.

“Party ikada kurasika, mayouth akarasika tatoenda. Madzimai akapengerakawo nekwavo tatoenda (If the youths lose direction and the women’s league chose to do their own thing, then we are finished as a party).

“No, there has to be unity. Mapato ari kungotukana toti pasi nawo (These factions that are insulting each other, we say down with them),” Mugabe charged.

“I am sure the youths would want to work together with war veterans. There must be harmony between the youth and war veterans. The war was fought for all. Together we must find our way,” he added.

Mugabe also repeated his attacks on the West, blaming the targeted measures they imposed on him for being responsible for Zimbabwe’s high unemployment rate, the closure of thousands of companies and the lack of resources to finance youth programmes.

“The British and Americans, in their cunning ways as usual, have used this opportunity to offer huge sums of money both within and outside the party so as to cause factionalism which has greatly affected the youth,” he said.

Comments (19)

Mugabe support his "wife" for the simple reason that he is himself not a war veteran so is Grace, Saviour Kasukuwere, Johnathan Moyo and Mahoko. Those who have to pay the ultimate price of life knows in their hearts of hearts that it was not easy to be in the bush, staying everyday looking at death and hence they stand behind Mnangagwa and Mai Mujuru. Like it or not people like Gumbo and others who have been in the war front knows the price. They have lost their families and even friends in battle. Mugabe can only speak of the war but he never pulled a trigger of a gun. He has never been missed by a bullet. How shameful it is for him to denigrate people like Mujuru and Gumbo. However I do like like Mnangagwa per say, but he is not wrong to desire and even fight to be a president of Zimbabwe or such high political office. same thing with Mai Mujuru. Mugabe or Grace can even go to hell. If you would remove MDC leaders its better to rally behind ED and JM than Mugabe and his wife, shameless murderous masquerading as liberators yet they have put iron yokes around the necks of pathetic Zimbabwean

amina - 29 February 2016

Dear Daily News It saddens me that all you talk about is the team lacoste. you made your point a long way back that you disdain it. go on ahead and get yourselves involved with this mess but my advice to you is serve the public because as a news provider that should be your main goal. Bashing team lacoste does not help the public because it is not a priority of a news provider unless you don't care about the public. Get back on track. you are a powerful influence but do it for the betterment of the nation rather than cause unnecessary havoc and confusion, bash lacoste then what?????

speak - 29 February 2016

Mugabe apera

Harare - 29 February 2016

@Daily news you are such liers look at the 263 chat birthdya bash photos Ngewna and wife were very happy. We donot know what you are reporting on. Mugabe yes chided the Youth of course that was Grace directive other than that there ws nothing untoward during the celebrations. Donot forget the celebrations were live ...so honestly we donot know what you are talking about. If at all the Pres was fair in his addressing to the people.

Ndiya - 29 February 2016

Theris nothing wrong in party politics.just stand guided by laws n guidelines of the party when campaining.the democrates n republicans r doing it,the faction way.bt its done humanly n for the economy,to pik the best man for the job.this is the modern way of get the most,best candidate for presidency.I dnt see anything bad in these factions bt only if rules arechanged to suit an interest then no fareness ,rules will then be brocken.president mugabe shuld have encouraged openess n be very nuetral.that way even his son Chatunga can take part,on fare ground.

viola gwena - 29 February 2016

Dear Daily News It saddens me that all you talk about is the team lacoste. you made your point a long way back that you disdain it. go on ahead and get yourselves involved with this mess but my advice to you is serve the public because as a news provider that should be your main goal. Bashing team lacoste does not help the public because it is not a priority of a news provider unless you don't care about the public. Get back on track. you are a powerful influence but do it for the betterment of the nation rather than cause unnecessary havoc and confusion, bash lacoste then what?????

Prof Moyo - 29 February 2016

@Daily news you are such liers look at the 263 chat birthdya bash photos Ngewna and wife were very happy. We donot know what you are reporting on. Mugabe yes chided the Youth of course that was Grace directive other than that there ws nothing untoward during the celebrations. Donot forget the celebrations were live ...so honestly we donot know what you are talking about. If at all the Pres was fair in his addressing to the people.

Prof Moyo - 29 February 2016

Zanu yaora. Things fall apart the centre can not hold,

paradzayi upfumi - 29 February 2016

So it looks like the Presidents tolerates factionalism in Zanu PF, as long as you support the faction to which the First Lady belongs?

machakachaka - 29 February 2016

@amina,a closer look at the peopl you said sacrifices life and limb actually shows that they have children born in the late seventies,one wonders if they went to the frontline pregnant,which is impossible,even gumbo has kids from that era,as far as i understand a war zone,there is no time to sire children,what battles did gumbo fight and where?the villager actually sacrificed mo than your veterans who were being entertained by cde chinx

truth - 29 February 2016

There are three factions. one for VP Mnangagwa, one for former V.P Mujuru and one for Grace and G40. Saka ngatisapembedza dzimwe factions. Ngatisapwanya dzimwe factions. Hendei ku Congress. Izvi zvokubisa ma chairman anenge asarudzwa ne majority yevanhu vavanotungamirira ngatiregerei nekuti we view that as a way of disabling one faction for the better or promotion of another faction. Chonetsa ndechokuti imwe faction inomudzimai wa President. Saka hendei ku Congress tindovota.

naome - 29 February 2016

...that is Mugabe for you team lacoste. the guy is just a problem. To all lacostes dont give Mugabe any space anymore. Fight him for your rights inside zanu pf. War vets should pass a vote of no confidence on him as their patron.

X-MAN IV - 29 February 2016

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