War vets want Mugabe to go

HARARE - In an unprecedented move that is set to shake Zanu PF down to its foundation, disgruntled war veterans who have been pivotal in keeping President Robert Mugabe (pictured) in power for the past 36 years say they have had enough of him, and that it is time he left office.

Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, the disaffected ex-combatants — many of whom are signatories to the famous 1976 Mgagao declaration that catapulted Mugabe to the helm of Zanu — said they were withdrawing their support both to that  epoch-making document, as well as to Mugabe.

Liberation struggle luminary, Bernard Manyadza, whose war-time nom de guerre was Parker Chipoyera, said war veterans — the majority of whom are wallowing in abject poverty — had had enough of Mugabe’s “misrule”.

The tough-talking Munyadza, who was the head of instructors at the famous Mgagao Camp, said the time had come for war veterans and fellow Zimbabweans to “rewrite history”.

In addition to vowing to do everything in their power to make Mugabe leave office, the disgruntled war vets also ominously threw their weight behind former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who is now leader of new political outfit, Zimbabwe People First (ZPF).

“At this juncture, it is particularly important for the people of Zimbabwe to know how Robert Mugabe first attained the reins of power as president of Zanu.

“It is us the war veterans who put Mugabe into power. In 1976 officers at Mgagao Training Camp in Tanzania, after consulting with others in Zambia and Mozambique, wrote a document denouncing the then president (of the party) Ndabaningi Sithole.

“The document, known as the Mgagao document, accused Sithole of abandoning the struggle to pursue his personal issues.

“After considering many factors, the war veterans agreed to endorse Robert Mugabe to succeed Sithole. In light of this, it is abundantly clear that Robert Mugabe was not elected, but selected to lead Zimbabwe’s armed struggle,” Manyadza said.

“We the war veterans who agreed to the authorship of the Mgagao document and appended our signatures to it now withdraw the mandate we gave to Robert Mugabe to be leader,” he added.

Manyadza said “real war veterans” remained marginalised while “opportunists” who currently occupied senior positions in government were “cowards” during the war of liberation.

Describing Mugabe’s meeting last week with a faction of war veterans as a non-event, Manyadza — who was flanked by other “real” ex-combatants — said the Harare get-together had been “a missed opportunity” to put the 92-year-old leader under pressure.

“The illegitimate attendees are Zanu PF sycophants and bootlickers who can best be described as charlatans and opportunists.

“It was clear to everyone that most attendees were past the age of liberation fighters, but some old villagers who were paid to attend and ululate and sing praises to Mugabe,” he thundered.

The disgruntled war veterans also alleged that last week’s meeting had allegedly been tainted by corruption, with money supposedly changing hands in an effort to bribe attendees’ allegiance.

“Mugabe is a habitual rigger who has rigged his own indaba,” Manyadza said, adding that the late struggle icon, Herbert Chitepo — whose wife Victoria will be interred at the national heroes acre today — will be turning in his grave at the sight of how the party that he led effectively had now turned rogue.

“Chitepo insisted that there never was and never will be a living hero. He refused anyone to say ‘pamberi naChitepo or nani zvake (forward with Chitepo or any other person)’. He remained firm on this principle as he knew that all humans were fallible.

“Chairman Chitepo argued that if you say ‘pamberi neni, ko mangwana ndikatadza wozoti kudiyi (Chitepo discouraged hero-worshipping of individuals,” Manyadza said.

He also said that it was unfortunate that everyone who had challenged Mugabe within Zanu PF thus far had been purged from the former liberation movement.

“Comrades, even our service chiefs who have demonstrated absolute loyalty to the nation and their commander-in-chief have had their loyalty and allegiance questioned, firstly by the First Lady, and later by their commander-in-chief. This has set a very bad precedence.

“Again comrades, the manner in which . . . Mujuru was removed from holding government and party positions at the instigation of Mugabe’s wife who had no political position at the time cannot be accepted or tolerated.

“Mugabe as the sole centre of power unilaterally makes ruinous decisions that have sadly brought life in the once prosperous nation to a standstill,” Manyadza added.

While the country’s opposition has routinely called for Mugabe to either resign or retire, there are now also growing calls for him to step down from within Zanu PF ranks.

Only last week, respected party elder Cephas Msipa said keeping Mugabe in power was tantamount to “punishing” the increasingly frail nonagenarian, further urging the long-ruling leader to retire immediately.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily News, he said Mugabe’s 56 years in politics were long enough for a “normal human being to hang the boots”.

“My serious advice to him (Mugabe) is that he should rest now, as he has done so much for the country,” he said.

Msipa, a close friend of Mugabe of many decades, said the nonagenarian — who is the only leader that Zimbabweans have had for the past 36 years — cannot rest after death.

“In a way, he has done a lot for this country, and really in all fairness we are punishing him. When will he rest, when he is dead?” he asked rhetorically.

“I feel sorry for him as a friend. I think he must just be given time to rest. We live in this world for a much shorter period than we realise. He really needs a rest. A race is run up to a certain point and there comes a point when you must rest.

“It’s good for him, good for his family and good for the party. We need new ideas. These can only come with leadership renewal. I would like him to rest,” the concerned Msipa emphasised repeatedly.

The former Midlands Provincial Affairs minister — who fondly refers to Mugabe as muzukuru (Shona for nephew) — said there was no doubt that Mugabe had played his part, which was why he now needed to pass on the baton.

He challenged some Zanu PF hardliners who were advocating for the nonagenarian’s further stay in power to be “human and stop punishing” him.

“We should all feel sorry for him. We are punishing him. Those who are saying he should continue, we don’t seem to care about him. I know some people want him to stay for their own protection.

“I also know some of them feel he is protecting them. He gave them certain positions and so they are afraid that if he goes they will lose those positions. It’s unfair for us to punish a man for all this time. Let him sit back and watch. It’s very important after all that hard work,” Msipa said.

He also claimed that just before he left active politics he had asked Mugabe to retire, an offer that was turned down.

“I went to see Mugabe with my two sons where I told him to retire. He told me that in politics you don’t retire, but that you rather die there. That’s his philosophy.

“So in a way he seems to be enjoying the position, but he must also think of rest, because he is punishing himself physically. We are all human beings and the fire in us burns out and you can’t go on trying to keep putting on some light when it’s burning out,” he said.

Asked what kind of a person Mugabe was at a personal level, Msipa described the nonagenarian as a “difficult” character to understand.

“He is in a way difficult to understand. He can be very charming but also he can be repellent and very cruel. He can be very charming and the next moment he can do things that you cannot believe he can do.

“For instance, when Murambatsvina (operation clean-up) started, I phoned him because I thought that was uncharacteristic of him, but when he has decided that this man is my enemy, he will do everything to crush you.

“That is his problem, there are no two ways about it. So in short, he can be very cruel if you stand in his way because he wants things to be done in his way,” he said.

Comments (22)

Does anyone have a copy of the Mgagao Document? Please scan and put on the internet

Ndakaitei Kuhondo - 13 April 2016

We may agree on all what these guys are saying as some of us had been saying so for the past 20 years but differ sharply on trying to bring zanu the other way round into power through another dander head thieve Mujuru . The solution in this country is to have a civilian lead us the civilian who are the majority . As of these former war volunteers they must be removed from power for ever for a million reasons It took these morons f-----king 20 years to realise that Mugabe is not a leader and very incompetent to even renovate the state house which is eye soar and in serious state .Mujuru is as good as Mugabe any thought of trying to make her leader of this country will be even more destructive more than the son of a Malawian migrant did . Now that is why these so called war vets must not be taken serious and they must stay away from politics the way Mau Mau , Mai Mai Swapo ex soldiers ,and Umnkonto wesizwe have done . Let people decide freely and not what these fools have been doing forcing and killing those who do not support Mugabe to vote for him .Hoza 2018 uze nenjabulo hamba Mugabe bye bye .

Diibulaanyika - 13 April 2016

Every time the same stories. Tobvisa Mugabe togadza nhingi kuti atonge nyika. The new block will continue the trend - demanding to be worshipped and setting him/herself above the country`s laws, just like Mugabe. The first step in resetting Zimbabwe back to normality is the constitution and the laws of the land should not be tempered with. Other than the law nobody is to be regarded as the ruler of a nation. Every citizen bows before the law. Nobody should be allowed to take advantage of his position to create a self-serving empire as the current demi-god Robati has done. Today the country is suffering because of this. We made a big mistake of giving him the leeway to shit on existing laws for him to create his empire. Now he is a monster so entrenched that he cannot be got rid of easily.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 13 April 2016

who is this manyadza who the dailynews claims he is a struggle luminary,if he was an instructor at mgagao anyone can do their maths and calculate a distance of more than 1500km from the warzone or border,the @dailynews must stop elavating people to status they dont belong,they are real heroes out there,unless any idiot that stands up and spews rubbish against the incumbent is now a struggle luminary

truth - 13 April 2016

Well said Mr Msipa. " I know some people want him to stay for their own protection. I also know some of them feel he is protecting them. He gave them certain positions and so they are afraid that if he goes they will lose those positions"

Zanu yeropa - 13 April 2016

This Manyadza guy is another zimbabwean citizen first and foremost who is announcing his opinion. Whether or not he is a luminary is not as important as any other citizen saying the same thing. If he is an luminary it adds weight to his assertions but the most important thing is that he is a citizen who is allowed to have a preference.

truthless - 13 April 2016

@ truthless spot on every citizen has a right to air their own views and no citizen is more important than the other which these war vets lack to understand by killing and forcing other citizens to follow zanu to its grave . .

Diibulaanyika - 13 April 2016

Truth hates only the benefactors of the current backtrack. Comrade Chipoyera/Manyadza you said it all I will not forget that hurridly document I typed overnight while being shielded by my late husband Felix while onlookers comrades were mesmerised at my touch typing 1975. There and then me and Comrade Den Murimo took to Dar where the Late General Saul Sadza published and whisked me to the USA to tell the world what had kept the war at standstill and the need to procure material and moral support. I travelled the entire UK all the states of USA at a very tender age but then I was the only one of the unencasarated who ran out of impending arrest in Zambia. Time is up, watch out my next book of dream reality 2.

Sarudzai Churucheminza - 13 April 2016

Manyadza is very right but the only problem is who will tell Mugabe to step down at a congress or even at the war veterans meetings. Mugabe has used the war veterans sa tsuro aishandisa gudo mungano dzevana vadiki.That is why he managed to acquire education so that he would always fool his fellow comrades.He knows exactly what they want to hear. In 1990 he gave them 50 000 Zim dollars each.Later on around 2000 when Hunzvi wanted to open his eyes, Mugabe told them to invade farms.Later on he used the indiginisation story and just last week he told them to invade the few white farms left and instead of asking for a ten percent stake in mines, the tactician advised them to go for 100 percent. What did the war veterans do? They clapped their hands like kindergarten kids. I doubt if war veterans can make Mugabe change his mind and step down.They are just whistling in the wind.Only a free and fair election will, but is it possibe in Zimbabwe.

chimuti - 13 April 2016

The challenge to the bravest of all War Vets is to go and tell Mugabe in his office that he must step down. That one will show the world that he is a true war vet. true war vets must resist the pressure of being led by a lame duck like the current crop of war vets, Hunzvi might prove to be the bravest of all of them since he was able to bar the motorcade from living until RGM meet them. So who is that who could not even by pass the vetting and proceed into a meet to meet RGM.

amina - 13 April 2016

rhobhati reshuffled the structure of the party in 2014 for a reason. look at the commissar he appointed. the boy can not challenge him like a wo vhet commissar would do. infact he is done with the wo vhets and he now want to deal with youthful pple that's why he like g40. this time wo vhets will bite the dust while its g40's turn to loot.

SaManyika Chaiye - 13 April 2016

These guys may have points. However they long lost the people's love long back. In fact they showed and still show one of our weaksnesses as a nation....what I call doing things for the common good or thye good of the nation. when they were invading farms, people warned, people talked people did all sorts of things. Now all that stupidity is coming to bite all of us...those with farms dont have anyone to sell the products to and develop the farms further...now they are crying that we are suffering. How do we get out of it: Firstly the warvets must appeal for forgiveness form the people. Forgivenes for propping a dictator

Jojo Madiro - 13 April 2016

I struggle with the logic of some of these "war vets". The "vets" selected RGM to lead them. They were RGM's foot soldiers in all elections since 1985. Service chiefs were never loyal to the people of Zim but to ZPF - they threatened voters with death if they chose MDC or MT. Like I've said before, "war vets" aligned themselves to ZPF which was/is a great blunder. If the majority voters are now tired of ZPF and its leader what say thou "war vet"?

Sagitarr - 13 April 2016

Nothing newsworthy here from those war vets outside ZANU PF. At the recent Indaba that was not the ZNLWVA position. Views of those expelled from ZANU PF are immaterial. Just repeating the language of opposition parties!

Cde MGAGAO - 13 April 2016

"Mugabe as the sole centre of power unilaterally makes ruinous decisions that have sadly brought life in the once prosperous nation to a standstill,” Manyadza added." And there lies the crux of the matter. Zanu members, voters and aligned war veterans have been complicit in degrading the institutions that are meant to put checks and balances curbing the ability of anyone person implementing ruinous policy decisions. Instead of being vanguards of the struggle as you claim you deliberately invested your energies in undermining those institutions and explicitly creating a one centre of power, did you not know that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely or did you not care as long as you were eating or had the promise of eating. Mugabe is a joni come lately to the struggle but you were all seduced by that fake accent and you thought you have found your own darkie muzungu. Shame maningi. The brave men and women who did the heavy lifting you were quick to throw them under the bus (Chitepo, Nkomo, Tongo, Masuku etc).

Lt General - 13 April 2016

Mugabe has outlived his welcome. To make matters, his politics has been spoiled by the small house. Can you imagine, a wife with no constitutional mandate, addressing a rally and directing government business. Where in the world has that happened? Just compare Grace and the real heroes like Victoria Chitepo, Mafuyna, Mai Muzenda and Mai Msika. You would think that this young girl is the maker of Zim. Mugabe you talk of respect of the elders - please first tell your wife to respect Zimbabweans. She talks nonsense, apa asina kupfeka pitikoti kana kusunga zambia. This utter rubbish. the real mothers are respectable and well mannered. If you start talking of someones open zip, dont forget your own behaviour. So many kids with different fathers. Anyway I miss the drama?

tendai zikomo - 13 April 2016

People get the government they diserve ; especially when they put man in God's place.

abri - 13 April 2016

@sarudzai,you are a joke,onlookers mesmerized by your typing speed,save us your nursery talk,your book is well titled dreams as those are your dreams even for free your book will not find any takers,everyone knows the gallant fighters got weapons from china,russia and east european nations so what material did you procure from people that had designated us terrorists,stop dreaming and exaggerating your importance,yu and manyadza are the same,disgruntled ex party members like tsvangison,mujuru,makoni,we cannot expect anything from yu

truth - 13 April 2016

If i had known during war that these war vets were fighting to have Mugabe for life president suwa nyanisi i would have supported Smith actually i re grate why i ever slaughter my nkukuz and goats feeding such stupids who took so long to see that Mugabe is poison to this nation and must go . They must tell Mugabe to go not Daily news.

Diibulaanyika - 14 April 2016

one day,after realizing that the cat was feeding on them,the rats called for a meeting.they discussed amazing ways of how to get rid of the fat cat,or at least escape from his danger.at the end of the 'fruitful meeting', they all agreed to put a chain around the cat's neck&ringing metal tin.this would enable the rats to escape in time,on hearing the noise.there was unexplained joy,noise whistles,ululations,drums etc saturated the atmosphere,THEN ONE THOUGHTFUL RAT TOOK THE MICROPHONE AND INTERRUPTED THE EXCITMENT,"OK GUYS!NDIANI ACHANDOISA DARE RACHO MUHURO MAKITI?'there was total silence,no reply,no volunteers&no bravery!!!all the rats walked away&MUGABE the cat will never miss his meal,irregardless of how frequent!!!!!!!!

murimi wanhasi - 14 April 2016

Mugabe haasi munhu semaonero angu. Nekuti dai arimunhu,munhu anorwadziwa kuona vamwe vachichema,kana iri mari veduwe achirikuida yei achinyatsoziva kuti ane mazuva mashoma ekurarama. That man is Devil himself. Munhu asina tsitsi nevamwe munhu rudzii???Hapana chaasina kuparadza arikutoda kuti afe vanhu vava kudya huswa semhuka.

matsotsi - 15 April 2016

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