Mugabe savages Lacoste war vets

HARARE - In a calculated assault on restless war veterans aligned to embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, ahead of the nonagenarian’s meeting with former freedom fighters in Harare on Thursday, President Robert Mugabe made it abundantly clear that he would not be dictated to by them.

Addressing Zanu PF supporters at the Harare International Airport yesterday on his return from Japan — via the now seemingly mandatory detour to Singapore — a pumped up Mugabe also made it clear that the once powerful Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) was subordinate to Zanu PF, and not the other way round as some former freedom fighters think.

“Hatitongwe neassociation … never ever. Hatife takabvuma izvozvo … tine gwara reparty … musangano ndiwo unotungamirira vose, maassociations ose, ndiwo unopa gwara kwatiri tose.

“Watsauka watsauka, warasika, wava chipfukuto gamatox … tinoda gwara, gwara nekuti tisina gwara hapana kwatinoenda tinorasika (We are not led by affiliate associations. We will never agree to that. We have party guidelines. The party leads all associations and provides guidelines to all of us. If you waver, you are now a weevil, gamatox),” Mugabe thundered.

Senior party officials present at the airport said the nonagenarian’s combative  address not only set the tone for his eagerly-anticipated meeting with war veterans on Thursday, but was also a “calculated assault” on Team Lacoste (Mnangagwa faction) which was said to be going around boasting that it had now successfully cornered him and reined-in his influential wife Grace.

Zanu PF has for the past decade been ravaged by deadly and seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars, with the party currently divided along two main factions — one loyal to Mnangagwa (Team Lacoste) and the other, known as the Generation 40 (G40) group, rabidly opposed to the Midlands godfather.

War veterans, who for long were the pillars of the former liberation movement and a major unifying force in the party, have also now been sucked into the often mindless bloodletting.

This has seen the ZNLWVA effectively breaking up into a number of bitterly-opposed factions, with the main formation still led by former War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa, who is seen as a key ally of Mnangagwa and who was summarily sacked from Cabinet by Mugabe last month.

The Mnangagwa-aligned ZNLWVA has been accused by its Zanu PF enemies of undermining Mugabe and Grace, and promoting factionalism — amid further untested claims that it is working to dislodge the increasingly frail nonagenarian from power, for the benefit of Mnangagwa.

The VP-aligned ZNLWVA leadership has also openly clashed with senior Zanu PF officials over the past few months, going on, recently, to pass votes of no confidence in bigwigs such as Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and Cabinet ministers that include Saviour Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo whom they accuse of being key G40 members. Mugabe’s forthcoming meeting with war veterans, scheduled for Thursday, came at the instigation of the Mnangagwa-aligned ZNLWVA, which is why many Zimbabweans will be watching with keen interest what happens at the get-together after the president’s shellacking of the group yesterday.

This follows the unprecedented move by riot police last month who mercilessly clamped down on the Mnangagwa-aligned war veterans — tear-gassing and water-spraying them before forcing them to disperse, after the group of former freedom fighters attempted to flex their muscles and congregate “unlawfully” in Harare.

The chaos, which the Daily News on Sunday and its sister paper, the Daily News, had accurately predicted for weeks, came as Zanu PF’s ugly internal ructions got dirtier, with the party faction linked to Mnangagwa increasingly mounting an open rebellion against Mugabe and Grace. So bold had some of the utterances and tactics employed by Team Lacoste become that there had been, for some time, real fear within Zanu PF that the ruling party’s escalating brawls could soon boil over into bloody conflict.

But the war veterans’ mission, including plans to march to Zanu PF’s national headquarters, fell apart after the authorities decided to deal with them firmly — a treatment that is usually reserved for opposition supporters and other critics of the government.

Police officers, who gave the fast-aging war veterans five minutes to abandon their march before action was taken against them, said their demo and meeting had not been sanctioned by authorities.

But the war veterans, clearly of the belief that force would not be used against them, said defiantly that they were “not going anywhere,” before breaking into song.

Soon after, all hell broke loose — and to the disappointment of some bystanders with a high affinity for real life drama, the veterans scampered for dear life with barely a whimper.

In his attack yesterday, Mugabe said all Zanu PF’s affiliate associations had to follow the party’s rules and procedures.

“Haungavi nhengo yemusangano usingateeri gwara remusangano. Kana uchienda nerweseri kuda kuputsa musangano. Kushora mazwi akashata atinotuka nawo, uchiri nhengo here? Uchine kodzero here?

“Saka hatizvide izvozvo … musangano ndiwo unotara gwara. Musangano ndiwo unoziva gwara (You cannot be a party member when you do not follow the party’s dictates. If you plot to destroy the party are you still a party member? Do you still have rights to the party? We do not want that … the party is the one that lays out procedures to be followed),” Mugabe said.

“Hapana association ine mvumo yekuti imire uko, yoti tinoda kuti party iite zvakati, hapana. Association inouya nemugwara reparty — kuhondo ikoko taiti  politics leads the gun.

“Zanla, Zipra vanosungirwa kutevera gwara reparty — mauto ese, madetainees, marestrictees tese topinda muparty totevera gwara reparty. Vatapihwa ivavo kuti tivhotere senhengo dzeparamende tovavhotera. Ndomaitiro iwayo.

(No association has the power to stand aside and make demands from the party. All associations follow the party procedures — during the liberation war our principle was that politics leads the gun — Zanla, Zipra should follow party procedures... ex-combatants, ex-detainees and ex-restrictees must follow party procedures. We must vote for the selected parliamentary candidates, that is how we do things),” Mugabe added.

Comments (16)

Lol. Haiwa 7atinonokera

Ndugu - 3 April 2016

Mugabe is taalking facts. That is how he wants to lead his party. its up to the followers to agree to that or to disagree....and this is what those in ZAN (UPF) have never been able to do. Noone can ever stand up and say " I beg to differ with you on that point your excellence"

Jojo Madiro - 4 April 2016

i have been at pains trying to explain that on this platform that as a maoist organisation,in the party it is the civillian that commands the gun and not the gun than commands the party,its been very hard for some half educated participants claiming to be cadres of the movement to understand that that zanla and zipra were formed by zapu and zanu,for lack of a better example,if you start a security company,only the idiotic security guard will believe he owns the party by virtue of being armed whilst the owner does not carry a gun,it would appear the zanu political commisars failed dismally to orient these pathetic cadres in idealogy and only treated them to cde chinx music in moza

truth - 4 April 2016

The war vets will not have it their way. It will be Bob's way. He has already set the torn by those "airport threats". Who will dare stand up to him. Real issues will not be talked about. Sad. War Vets Be Brave And tell it as it is. Do not give in to his threats. They are real alright but kusikufa ndekupi. Murume uyu aparadza party ne nyika.

Icho - 4 April 2016

Mugabe is now making some disgraceful fundamental mistakes! Disregarding and casting out the opinions of the war vets is one of them. Even bigger a mistake is his arrogance towards his former ally, China, by rudely turning his back n them and now trying to play up to Japan, something so typical of his behaviour? He is doing it as a form of punishment for China preferring to keep their distance and not takes sides or back any faction. This is very serious indeed - he is on his way out of this I am now certain.

Mbewa - 4 April 2016

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Boss Tora - 4 April 2016

bob was bold and stret to the point; he runs the show! so its either you lick the boot of the boot will lick your ass. those who don't want to lick the boot should just leave before they are fired becoz ukazoda kuti mee-mee nekuti wadzingwa zvataakuitirwa naana joyce na dhidhimasi, hatitambiri zvakadaro. however most zanu pple are forced to hang around because rhobhati's got a file for all their deeds, he allowed them to mess themselves with dirty jobs & money and offered them protection as long as they support him. anyone who voices-up rhobhati open the file and say arrest him for a;b;c crimes! happyson messed up and the file was opened, curthbert messed up; the file was opened; kangai messed up; the file was opened; munacho;masimirembwa; & company did the same; and fo rhobhati its simple; he simply open the file and fall one by one! most zanoids are sick & tired of bob but they are in a dilemma, they are forced to praise-sing even if they don't mean it kkkkkk! sadly we have got some of them on this very forum and its a pity to see a man go against his conscience & ideals knowingly.

SaManyika Chaiye - 4 April 2016

asi daily news, kasi munobhadharwa ne G40 or it is non existant because a normal "faction" will do some "newsworthy" things, kasi team lacoste ndiyo yega ine maguts to defy H.E because everyone who has the nation at heart sees that. I don't know what cause this faction to rise but i salute it and mujuru for standing up. You might call it whatever u want but at least they are doing something to shake that foundation. Daily News, I think someone i getting a little hand in pocket for this, just my thoughts because I do not see any negative reporting on this your so called "young turks" and noone is perfect. Nyatsobudai pachena imi. It's eithr that or these "young turks" are boot licking for thier future benefit if the succeed.

observant one - 4 April 2016

HONAIWO ZVINE MUSORO So bad is the economic situation in the country that thousands of companies have closed their doors over the past three years, leaving hundreds of thousands of poverty-stricken employees and their families in the lurch. And the situation is not any better in the agricultural sector, where the country has moved from being the breadbasket of the region to a hopeless and much-derided basket case over the past two decades. ASI BASA KUSWERO NETSANA NENYAYA DZISINA BASA PANGUVA INO!!!

AAA - 4 April 2016

Hehehehe! @observant one, did or did not Mugabe attack veterans who support Ngwena? Did the Daily News put words into Gushungo's mouth?

Moses - 4 April 2016

Firstly if we are to stand by the ZANU PF motto which says it's the People's choice, Mugabe Robert is getting it all wrong. It is the mass that votes and rather not himself and the surrounding cult referred to as the G40 he is protecting at all cost. It's always good to leave office whilst you still have some respect from the public. He is now showing his I don't care attitude to the very people who raised him, not knowing that they were creating their own monster, this is a very sad development indeed. Surely these war veterans have to taste their own medicine because they are the ones who were at the forefront castigating and denouncing those who supported the vote no during the 2000 constitutional elections when they brutally assaulted the innocent souls for practicing their constitutional right to set the laws that would have helped us to get rid of this autocratic system. Robert Mugabe had been left to manipulate the laws by the so-called presidential temporary powers to suit what he wants with the war veterans clapping hands hands for him, look now he is tormenting you for saying what you see as a right. If you the war vets no best how to silence Mugabe may you please help us because you have the experience of the barrel of peace than anyone else. If the youths want to exercise their right to be heard ,their voices are thwarted because they didn't participate in the liberation struggle. Now it's your time to face the reality, get it rolling tell Robert the truth, that he has to go and pave way for a totally new system. Thank you!!!!

sukaihari nyamasvisva - 4 April 2016

War veterans must stand up and be counted and not let a civilian in the name of RGMugabe dictate. When soem of these guys risked gun shots, snake bites, mosquitoes, rain and cold, Mugabe was clad in his chinese suites and sitting in a offices well lite and good food, which he is still continueing to eat. WAR is the ANSWER TO COWARD LIKE MUGABE, bring it to his door step.

amina - 4 April 2016

War veterans do not belong to Zanu PF. They are free to join any party of their choice, even to remain apolitical.

Madhebhura - 4 April 2016

but rhobhati told them point blank kuti haatongwe ne association! yet they keep clinging to him; they don't want to join other political parties coz hatiwape room yeautocracy yawajaira kuzanu and at the same time they don't want to be apolitical! what option is left: fight with rhobhati. these particular war vets are useless; he ones that are quiet are beta.

SaManyika Chaiye - 4 April 2016

Bob is technically right. ZNLWVA is simply a grouping of Zanu Pf members whose sole point of convergence is their participation in the 1970s bush war. Therefore they cannot determine the pace in the broader Zanu Pf . Yes they were mistaken in the late 90s and up to into the new century to think that they are a strong arm of Zanu Pf where they were feted by the party with the likes of Chinoz wining and dining with foreign leaders and dignitaries not knowing that they will end up like the proverbial protective sex sheath which is easily discarded after use!!!

jacktheswede - 4 April 2016

Musangano is just a synonym for Mugabe

inini - 5 April 2016

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