Massive battle: Mugabe vs war vets

HARARE - A senior Zanu PF official yesterday described the make-or-break meeting between President Robert Mugabe and restless war veterans in Harare today, in their last-ditch attempt to keep the decades-old power alliance intact, as a “War of the Titans”.

The party bigwig, who claims to be “non-aligned” in Zanu PF’s seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars, told the Daily News that his “prayer” was that sanity would prevail at the end of the day as he feared that the end of the party would be nigh if agreement on a number of issues was not reached.

“If the deepening fissures in the party are not managed now, this War of the Titans has the potential to really get nasty and get out of hand.

“My prayer is that sanity will prevail at the end of the day as both parties need each other. After all, this is not their fight (Mugabe and war veterans), this is a succession war to the death between Team Lacoste (Zanu PF faction rallying behind embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa) and the G40 (ambitious party Young Turks rabidly opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe),” the bigwig said.

In Greek mythology, the War of the Titans — also known as the Battle of the Titans, Battle of the Gods, or just the Titan War — refers to a series of savage battles involving Titans (an older generation of gods) fighting against the Olympians (a younger generation of gods and their allies).

The war, which was fought to decide which generation of gods would have domain over the Universe ended in victory for the Olympians.

Amid all this, the Daily News was told yesterday that Mugabe had barred war veterans who are not aligned to Zanu PF from attending today’s crunch meeting with former liberation war fighters.

This is despite earlier assurances by the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led faction of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) that the meeting would be inclusive — featuring ministers, security chiefs and all liberation struggle stalwarts such as former Vice President Joice Mujuru, former Zipra intelligence supremo Dumiso Dabengwa and former war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda.

Sibanda and other prominent ex-combatants such as former army officer Kudzai Mbudzi, who are now operating outside of Zanu PF, were turned away when they sought to get accreditation for the meeting on Tuesday.

Mbudzi confirmed the development to the Daily News last night, saying although they too had hoped to get an opportunity to meet with Mugabe and air their grievances with him, they found out when they went to the accreditation centre that “they did not want anyone who is not Zanu PF even if they were war veterans”.

“I was frantically trying to get myself accredited but the provincial war veterans’ leadership, the majority of whom are Zanu PF functionaries, would have none of it. They said they only wanted 800 people from each province and that I was not part of that,” Mbudzi said.

Reports from Bulawayo said Sibanda had been “embarrassed by the vetting officials” when he tried to get his accreditation sorted out at Davies Hall, after having been invited by the Mutsvangwa faction of ZNLWVA, that is said to be backing Mnangagwa’s mooted presidential ambitions.

“There were two accreditation teams in Bulawayo, and the G40 comrades decided that Team Lacoste wanted to use Jabu in their strategy to confront and embarrass the president and that is why they refused him accreditation.

“He (Sibanda) kept hopping from one district to the other, searching his name on various district lists. He was eventually told that he would not be allowed in and he went away visibly frustrated,” a war veteran who allegedly witnessed the frantic efforts said.

The Daily News reported earlier this week that the stage was delicately set for a potentially explosive encounter that could radically reshape Zimbabwe’s turbulent political landscape when Mugabe meets the restless war veterans in Harare today, to try and iron out their deepening differences.

In a daring act of defiance on Sunday, war veterans aligned to Mnangagwa openly contradicted Mugabe saying they were “equal partners” in Zanu PF and that the 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 newspaper then, the spokesperson of the Mnangagwa-aligned ZNLWVA formation, 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.

He 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 added.

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.

Comments (21)

Before the advent of the white man in Zimbabwe as also the case with many other African countries, the peoples occupying this land were tribes-people and often quarrelled and fought one another. It is the white man who grouped these people into a single nation. Now, under a tribes-set-up the people accept one central point of power be it in relation to religion, justice or governance. That is our biggest problem as a nation. The majority of black Zimbabweans inherently and sub consciously fail to grasp the notion of democracy. They cannot see beyond a monarchy. That is why the War Veterans way back in 1977 anointed Mugabe monarch and ever since have successfully kept him a de-facto such. Their current grievances have nothing to do with democracy but to anoint their preference for de-facto monarch in post Mugabe era. That is why the rural areas still have a lot of people still betrothed to their de-facto monarch. That is why also in opposition circles despite the transgressions and clear traits of mind boggling incompetence you still find people betrothed to a certain personality - their choice of monarch. Unless as a nation we manage to successfully discard this tribes-man hangover we will continue to be a circus the rest of the world finds funny.

Ndofira Chowadi - 7 April 2016

i have gone sifted through the list of invited delegates,i cant find the name viola gwena,noone by that name has been acredited here unless its a pseudonym but i recall her claiming its her real name,or maybe as a' woman' its her maiden name,i humbly take my place under support services here,ladies and gentlemen i will give you a blow by blow account

truth - 7 April 2016

@truth,no to factional based updates,others we may as well wait for @samanyikas ramblings

jojo - 7 April 2016

the reason why Zimbabwe is this situation is because an average Zimbabwean doesn't want the truth. below are some of the truths that people routinely circumvent: 1. rwavhi gukurahundi Mugabe committed genocide in Zimbabwe mainly the gukurahundi atrocities of the 1980s. this is the reason why he doesn't want to vacate the throne because he knows that he will be arrested. this has nothing to do with his marriage to grace is this come well after he had committed the crimes. 2. grace is a useless slut who left her marriage to get married to rwavhi because of pecuniary gains. 3. joice mujuru was the main driver of corruption in zanu with her late hubby rex. she owns a number of farms, mine and buildings around the country. she has no positive contribution to make to the country given her horrendous performance in govt for the past 35 years. she is a liar who wants us to believe that she always had differences with Mugabe yet she begged him to stay on the eve of her official cashiering. the fact that on top of her priorities is the chasing of solo's killers shows that she is in it for her own benefit and not for national benefit. tsvangirayi lost his wife in dodgy circumstances but never has he said that he wants to avenge that. also, joice consistently said that she has no ambition to become president now she is lying that people requested her to be president. the day we learnt to accept and tell the truth, our country and ourselves shall be liberated!!! VIVA SAVE 2018 VIVA!!!

josphat mugadzaweta - 7 April 2016

I foresee a situation in which this is going to be turned into a party with truckloads of food. The majority of the people are not war veterans but hungry villagers hired from communities being ravaged by hunger and starvation. Some are the go-gos and sekurus who cannot qualify to be war veterans. The G40 for the obvious reasons are not there because musangano wavakuru, amadoda sibili nomatombazana bemhlaba.

Jonathiel Moyowaonda - 7 April 2016

i THINK NOTHING MUCH WILL COME OUT OF THIS MEETING. I FORSEE THE WAR VETERANS APOLOGISING TO THEIR PATRON FOR WHAT THEY THEY WILL CALL INDISPCIPLINE AMONG THEIR MEMBERS. THE PATRON WILL SIMPLY ACCEPT THE APOLOGY. FINISH AND CLAA

Fox Makwiravana - 7 April 2016

I also checked on viola and truth,i did not see viola bt knowing her maiden name and war name i found her.bt im stil to see her personaly.Truth why wr looking for viola.Are yu in the institution?

bob - 7 April 2016

musanyeperwe even na viola.ndamuona uriino.bt ma CIO plz leav viola alone.nditete vedu.Muchanzwa Daily mangwana,MNANGAGWA KILLED.

INO - 7 April 2016

Why are all of us so pathetically stupid? Why do we all continue argueing about this or that point and blaming each other for not seeing right or having the correct answer. Bottom line: Mugabe will continue to cling on to power for as long as he possibly can simply because he fears being investigated and exposed for the massive crimes he has committed against humanity. He has also been responsible for rendering this once highly efficient and productive country into a ruined, poverty stricken nation. He enjoys seeing us all fight with one another because it takes the focus of him and his family and their evil deeds. Mugabe is the root cause of so much trouble and unhappiness in this country - it is time all of us united and get rid of him and his sycophants.

Phukit - 7 April 2016

kkkkkk @jojo usandidaro mhani! I am mdc-t and others seem not to like it. but what can I do?! I know I once threw a vulgar line, that was not right & unnecessary but its unfortunate that I really meant it! can @ daily news remove/delete it please?

SaManyika Chaiye - 7 April 2016

War veterans should have shown Mugabe solidarity by stating in clear terms that War veterans are one, if he wants to have meeting with one group excluding another, then he will not address them as such but rather as ZANU PF supporters because that is what it is. War Veterans were drawn across the country not from Ndebeles, vendas or shonas

amina - 7 April 2016

@ndofira wabaya dede mukanwa. it is our fault as zimbabweans because we make these dictators. iyezvino ku mdc kavaneimwe inonzi yekwa tsvangirai. it belongs to morgan. the party is smaller than morgan. it should be the other way round but alas in my home its all monarchy thats the reason for all this circus.

zvirozviyedzwa - 7 April 2016

bu kwatsvangirayi kana munhu adhinhiwa anorowa pasi and we don't chide or scold ex-members because we need them, yet there is nothing to do when one's opinion differ and they want to take another way. we don't fabricate allegations of wanting to topple or bewitch anyone, we don't scandalise by manufacturing rape cases that are alleged to have happened 5 yrs ago! we don't bastardise personalities or assassinate characters simply because someone is using their brain(s). so tsarist tendencies are in zanu and not in mdc-t; the two organisations are incomparable.

SaManyika Chaiye - 7 April 2016

lacoste put in its place,to their credit the president has promised to meet them every year untill he finishes his final term in 2023,by then we would have expelled chris and company,@viola knows its cold outside zanu pf,she wont want to follow blindly those who leave as the example of simba makoni,dabengwa,joice,tsvangison speak for themseves

truth - 7 April 2016

Yaa kasukuwere bak to skuul.nomo comisaire zvapera.

komuredhi - 7 April 2016

Dnt lie yu truth.we wr all thr.mapedzwa g40.ngwena zii zvake.chinonetsa kuburitsa mudhamu.president vakombwa nemacomrades,masoja,service chiefs,vaigoti kudii.hamufe makanzwa gire futi.mwiro.kuzoti kasukuwere maiwe.

tunga - 7 April 2016

Hey, matiro eZanu-PF, when are you going to do something positive for Zimbabwe for a change ? Kusvoro kokorodzana mativi mana enyika kuuya kungungano risina zvarinobura. As long as you have this mentality that the country is ruled by a president you will not get anywhere. Nyika inotongwa nemitemo kwete zvatiri kuona muZimbabwe izvi. Ndiko saka tinamaproblems asingaperi in all spheres: be it political ,economic even social. Instead of shouting: " Munhu wese kuna amai " you should be shouting "Munhu wese pasi pemitemo yenyika." Mukango daro chete munoona zvinhu zvese zvava kumufambirai.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 8 April 2016

@Ndofira Chokwadi how do you explain the British still betrothed to a monarch called the queen?

observer - 8 April 2016

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