Crisis as war vets defy Mugabe

HARARE - The stage is now delicately set for a potentially explosive encounter that could radically reshape Zimbabwe’s turbulent political landscape when President Robert Mugabe meets restless war veterans in Harare on Thursday to try and iron out their deepening differences.

In a daring act of defiance yesterday, war veterans aligned to embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa openly contradicted Mugabe saying they were “equal partners” in Zanu PF and that the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) was not just an affiliate organisation of the ruling party as the nonagenarian said on Saturday, on his return from Japan.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News, the spokesperson of the Mnangagwa-aligned ZNLWVA formation that is led by former War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa, Douglas Mahiya, also said it was folly for anyone to think that former freedom fighters did not have a key role to play in Zanu PF.

“Just as you cannot separate Jesus from God, and cannot separate Jesus from the Holy Spirit, you cannot separate war veterans from Zanu PF. After all, we (war veterans) are the ones who introduced Zanu PF to the masses during the war of liberation.

“If someone wants to separate us from Zanu PF, I think it will be a betrayal of the liberation struggle,” Mahiya said as he unapologetically contradicted what Mugabe said at the weekend.

This sets the stage for a potentially bruising battle when Mugabe meets war veterans this week — who have for some time now been of the view that they are being marginalised in national politics and not also enjoying the dividends of democracy as Zanu PF leaders are doing.

Mahiya said further that ex-combatants “are not supporters of Zanu PF but are members of the party”, and as such were not supposed to operate under the leadership of people they had taught politics.

“During our training as liberation fighters we were taught how to use the gun and also taught how to handle the masses in terms of politics. So you cannot say we must go under them while we are the ones who were educating them. War veterans have a big role to play in Zanu PF politics,” he said.

Prodded to comment further on the view that war veterans should play second fiddle to Zanu PF, Mahiya said this was a misunderstanding as each party needed the other, adding that one side could not dictate to the other on issues that had to do with how the party must be run.

“The issue is not about direction. As war veterans we already have direction. However, the direction must not constantly be renewed because if you do so you will lose that direction.

“You cannot renew the direction that we had, the direction of fighting the colonial regime. We think that as war veterans we are taking the right direction. Now, it’s about how government functionality and programmes benefit the people that we fought for,” he said.

Mahiya also admitted openly that Zanu PF was “collapsing like a deck of cards” because of its seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars.

“What we are experiencing is tantamount to total chaos in the country and total destruction of the party, and if we leave people destroying the party as war veterans we will be left with nothing at the end of the day.

“Zanu PF is being manipulated to produce a different product altogether, which is a misdirection of the liberation war. This thing is becoming tense because our former enemies have infiltrated us,” he said.

Mahiya’s sentiments follow Mugabe’s pronouncement on Saturday that former liberation struggle fighters needed to take a back seat in Zanu PF politics and allow party leaders to steer the wobbling ship.

“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, it is the one that provides guidelines to all of us and if you faulter, you are now a weevil, gamatox. We need guidelines, without which, we are lost),” Mugabe said.

Mahiya was confident that their meeting with Mugabe on Thursday would resolve the many political and economic challenges bedevilling Zanu PF and the country — taking a dig at senior party officials that are said to belong to the Generation 40 (G40) group.

“If we are going to get a platform, we are going to tell the president about the current economic situation and our plight as war veterans. What we need is to provide solutions to the current situation and that is why we went to war.

“The economy will not recover if we continue to have people like Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere. I am surprised why the likes of Moyo and Kasukuwere are not resigning as we have passed votes of no confidence against them.

“For Moyo, who deserted the liberation struggle, we know that he is in Zanu PF to destroy the party. Moyo once said the only way to destroy Zanu PF was to join it and destroy it from within,” Mahiya claimed.

He also demanded that the G40, which is said to comprise party Young Turks opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe, should stop bad-mouthing ex-combatants.

“The so-called G40 wants to destroy the legacy of President Mugabe and war veterans so that they will then takeover. But I want to tell Zimbabweans that the country will continue to face economic woes if we allow this to happen,” Mahiya said.

Comments (63)

Well they is nothing no explosives from these morons not a single one of them has balls to confront Mugabe . They still he will one day as did in 1997 give them 50 000 dollars nothing else . All what is going to happen is yebo nkosi with their soiled tails in between their soiled thighs and legs .

Diibulaanyika - 5 April 2016

@truth, if you trust in Bob, where is the $15bn?? Do you know the difference between nodding and dozing? But why punishing and rediculing yourself at that age as if Zimbabwe is peopleless? What are you trying to cover-up? Skeletons for Dzamara etc cannot be wrapped in Khaki cover anyway, Just same as it is difficult for a she-goat to cover its private parts using its tail. That's how things are @truth. and when you see the clock ticking, the day is approaching as sure as your own death.

Danai Pazvagozha - 5 April 2016

@kodza; in the words of Albert Einstein,'We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.' these are personalities who experienced revolutions and world political dynamics until the emancipation of the world came into being. It is however nauseating now that we have a group that want to re-invent the wheel, they want to re-write history. we are 15years into the millennium and zanu still talk about a bush war that they did not won but was given to them after blacks were being butchered in the forests. the opposition need to offer themselves once and for all and we need to support the opposition all the way to dislodge this zanu hegemony; they wont kill us when the world is watching!

SaManyika Chaiye - 5 April 2016

@kodza; in the words of Albert Einstein,'We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.' these are personalities who experienced revolutions and world political dynamics until the emancipation of the world came into being. It is however nauseating now that we have a group that want to re-invent the wheel, they want to re-write history. we are 15years into the millennium and zanu still talk about a bush war that they did not won but was given to them after blacks were being butchered in the forests. the opposition need to offer themselves once and for all and we need to support the opposition all the way to dislodge this zanu hegemony; they wont kill us when the world is watching!

SaManyika Chaiye - 5 April 2016

This samanyika loves responding bt the absence of thinking gets the beter of him.Samanyika what if anything r u complaining about?maybe use chimanyika after all.we will find translators.orshut up.

musa - 5 April 2016

Lets the idiots fight among themselves Goodbye zanu-pf come 2018

Pope - 5 April 2016

If anyone thinks this samnyika is a real person ,plse visit psyciatrist.only a robot can be that annoying ritng crap.

nxa - 5 April 2016

Like her or hate her this viola gwena is smething.

lodza - 5 April 2016

Zanu is nogo area for me bt this auntie viola cracks the wip.maybe zanu will change for the beter.why is viola suporting ngwena if he is that bad.kubvunzawo zvangu

nomu - 5 April 2016

@kodza; in the words of Albert Einstein,'We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.' these are personalities who experienced revolutions and world political dynamics until the emancipation of the world came into being. It is however nauseating now that we have a group that want to re-invent the wheel, they want to re-write history. we are 15years into the millennium and zanu still talk about a bush war that they did not won but was given to them after blacks were being butchered in the forests. the opposition need to offer themselves once and for all and we need to support the opposition all the way to dislodge this zanu hegemony; they wont kill us when the world is watching!

SaManyika Chaiye - 5 April 2016

@nomu,inyaya yekuzodja bedzi.viola wil demand ministerial post if ngwena comes in.bt besides that this viola knows what to say.

unandi - 5 April 2016

Nonsense what whip she just talking rubbish only fools can praise same old story BY zanu sympathizers . .

Diibulaanyika - 6 April 2016

I thought the ethos of the struggle were to have a free Zimbabwe from minority oppression. Yet here we have these war vets claiming to be ZANU PF! I agree with Inini they deserve what they're getting from Bob, because they are not genuine freedom fighters, but a greedy clique bent on gaining at the expense of the nation. I get the impression that these guys fought for ZANU PF, not for Zimbabwe. You are the sell outs, because you are propping a party that is betraying the gains of independence, namely freedom of speech, association, and the press, as well as a one man one vote system. Sad...

Real war vet - 7 April 2016

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