Team Lacoste sharpens knives against Tyson

HARARE - As Zanu PF continues playing the brinkmanship game, war veterans in the party are of the view that something has gone terribly wrong in the governing party’s commissariat department.

Our senior staff writer Mugove Tafirenyika (Q) speaks to the spokesperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, Douglas Mahiya (A) on these and other issues.

Q: There is so much infighting in the party at the moment, what do you think is causing this?

A: After independence, the party was supposed to put in place a programme to continue educating the masses on the ideals of the revolution. Unfortunately, however, the people responsible failed to meet the political commitment that was required to produce leaders who understand the revolutionary road that was supposed to be taken.

That is what brought about the current political situation where you find  the likes of Saviour Kasukuwere calling the shots as Zanu PF national political commissar, misleading people  and failing to do a duty whose terms of reference is known only  by war veterans.

Q: So that is the basis of your argument when you say the post of national political commissar in Zanu PF should be a preserve for war veterans? But is it enshrined in the Zanu PF constitution?

A: No, do not tell me about the Zanu PF constitution because we are the ones who wrote it. The constitution says war veterans are the bedrock of the party; it is built on the foundation of war veterans like Jesus said that this church is built on this rock, Peter, so the rock of the revolution of Zimbabwe is the war veterans.

So that means it is from them, from the knowledge that they acquired during the war that the party should be carried forward to the next generation.

Q:  But we understand that Kasukuwere is not the first individual who is not a war veteran to occupy that position. Border Gezi was not a war veteran. Was he? And how come you did not raise the same complaints you are raising now?

A: We did not raise issues against him, which is true. But maybe you do not even know.

Border Gezi became a member of the national youth brigade movement and it is in this movement that he got the orientation of the revolutionary principles. That is why he did not misfire, that is why he was very qualified to do that.

It was because of the socialist ideas that had been inculcated in his mind by the war veterans.

Q:  But Kasukuwere claims he also has that orientation after he participated in the Mozambique war against Renamo.

A: That is not a political qualification. It is an adventure for him but not a qualification to give him the right to become national political commissar because that is not enough. We borrowed revolutionary principles from countries that liberated their societies and used socialist principles that they used but we were informed in no uncertain terms that we were not going to produce a replica of that country but that we were going to use the principles in order to earn our own independence and have our own brand of socialism.

A new political position was thus going to emerge and it is that position that I have as a war veteran that Kasukuwere lacks. He missed the days of the revolution and he was not part and parcel of what was yet to be discovered in a political laboratory.

  Q: But is the president, as patron of war veterans, not alive to this fact that the post of national political commissar is so crucial that it cannot be held by someone who did not participate in the war of liberation, to the extent that he went on to appoint Kasukuwere?

A: After independence came political developments that required the inclusion of anybody and everybody and Zanu ceased to be a vanguard party and became a mass movement where anybody could participate.

However, it did not mean that we were going to forget the revolutionary ideas that had been inculcated in us and let the country go to the dogs — we were going to continue safeguarding the interests of the masses in policy formulation.

Q: So should we conclude therefore that the president made an error of judgment when he appointed him?

A: He had no reason not to include everybody in everything. This is failure on the part of Kasukuwere which has nothing to do with an appointment.

The president had the understanding that Kasukuwere had learnt the ethos of the party over the years only to discover that he has not learnt anything.  In actual fact he is supposed to start again, we want to teach him and approve him, so that he can be one who qualifies in future.

Q: So how do you think this can be solved seeing that he is already in office and he has stated that he was not going to resign, you also want the party to go forward as war veterans, what now?

A: The honourable thing for him to do is work with war veterans, he must not demonise war veterans, and he must come to us and acknowledge that he has no knowledge of mobilising the masses and building the party then he learns from there.

But the moment he remains with his idea that he is more superior to us and probably becoming an untouchable, then the tension will remain.

Look my friend you can see how old I am, I have been in the party since I was a boy, even younger than you. I know what I am talking about, I know what is supposed to be done, and when I joined the liberation struggle, I didn’t join the liberation struggle to fail I joined in order to give society the economic and social product which is adequate, but Kasukuwere does not know that.

At 11 in 1980 (Kasukuwere) I was already an adult, I already had the experience, I had already proved that I am better than anybody else. What political tool does he want to use that we did not use. We discovered new tools and dimensions of politics, he did not. He did not know that at 11, now he wants to say I don’t know, who was I then during the liberation struggle?, I was a politician, because I did not see anybody else who took me to Mozambique, the first  gun that I saw was my gun because I was politically conscious, he needs to know these things, when am I going to be what he is when I liberated this country and I am not given an opportunity to become what he is, when am I going to do that?

He is 47, if he’s going to be 110 years old, he has still all that to do , why can’t he give the war veterans an opportunity to carry on with what they were doing, after all, everyone else who wants to become an MP or so wants to be baptised by the liberation struggle, which I fought.

You want the one who is baptised and not the baptiser? That is not fair!

He should relieve himself and if he refuses we are going to take it upon ourselves to mobilise the people to show them how evil the G40 is.

We are experts in terms of mobilising the masses. If he repents and wants to utilise the knowledge that we have, if he does that fine, we used to capture the enemies, taking them to the rear and teach them.

That is what we will do with him but I am sure Jonathan (Moyo) will not repent because he is a hard core Selous Scout. He said he wants to destroy the party from within.

Q: Given this appointment that you think is inappropriate, what is your assessment of the state of the party today?

A:  He has destroyed the party, that’s what we see, he has destroyed all the executives, he has become the party, the policeman, the prosecutor and he has become the judge. And he expels anybody; it is a whistle that has been given to a mentally retarded person.

A: As war veterans you seem to be worried about the purges that are going on in the party presently, but these have not started in 2015/2016. Others including war veterans like former VP Joice Mujuru and others were fired from Zanu PF, and you didn’t seem concerned then. Why?

A: Not at the scale he is going, he has been to every province, that’s excessive, he wants to declare himself the only loyal person to the party.

After all when you are a PC of the party, you are that person in the party where everybody rushes to for consolation. He’s not a commander. He should be softer; he should be able to forgive, so he has the opposite of that.

Q: Are these suspensions and expulsions not being endorsed by the politburo?

A: Whatever it is that is not our baby. We are worried about the level of destruction of the party that is taking place as a result of an unqualified execution of his duty as a national PC.

Q: Does it mean Kasukuwere is arm-twisting even the politburo to endorse the suspensions?

A: I am not talking about the politburo, I am talking about the majority of the people who were suspended in almost all provinces, the arm-twisting, I don’t understand, I have not been in one of those politburo meetings, so I cannot comment on that.

Q: There is a perception within the party, that you as war veterans have taken sides backing Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa. And the belief that all what is happening in Zanu PF is all about succeeding Mugabe, seeing that he’s 92 and approaching the twilight of his career.

A: We have not taken sides. The difference in age between me and the president is the same when we were in Mozambique and that did not stop us from bringing him before the masses as our leader, so we have not taken sides.

Q: But who is your choice as the president’s successor?

A: When we talk about party line, we are talking about how we select our leaders, so it is that ideology, that party line which must be towed by everyone.

The moment we start talking about succession issues, who the war veterans want to succeed is out of question.  And when the time comes we continue to do it as we have always done.

Zanu PF as a party has created a political culture of how we select the leadership.  The method that we used to elevate the president from his position as secretary generals is the one that we will use.

The political training that we went through gives us the capacity to tell what is   going to happen within the next six months in the national political development.

What will remain is whether you believe me or not, but adding x+y in politics — war veterans are able to give you an answer.

What we see is Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo are being used by the West to destroy the legacy of the president and the war veterans and that is why we do not see eye to eye.

The question of supporting the VP has never been said by war vets. We have never discussed that subject. In fact it is the G40 that we have seen being used by the West.

Q: Who is the G40?

A: Well let me tell you about Kasukuwere and Moyo, the rest you can ask them who they are — because it is Kasukuwere and Moyo who are against war vets.

How can Kasukuwere — if he is a member of the Zanu PF that I know, and Moyo who is known for deserting the war today be more loyal to Zanu? Who has struggled with the party from where it began until now?

They are the people who are creating the G40 in a bid to exclude anyone above 40 including war veterans. How sincere is their political perception when they say G40 when the president is 92? It means he also wants to remove the president and this is what we are disputing.

Q: You recently met with the president and raised the issue of the Zanu PF commissariat. Were you satisfied with his response?

A: People do not understand the relationship between the commander and the commanded. We do not tell him what to do, he is a commander. When we give him our issues, we must allow him time to consider them — at some point he will be able to realise that what we are saying is true.

These people who are trying to destroy the legacy of the party, the president and war veterans had made sure that we had no access to the president.

Q: But Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and the first lady are both members of the Zanu PF national disciplinary committee yet you seem to blame Kasukuwere alone for the suspensions. Why?

A: We can only talk about the person we see in action. In films the main actor is the person directing everything.

 

Comments (5)

we no longer want anything to do with zanu and its zpf cousins. the sooner they vanish from our daily lives the better.

josphat mugadzaweta - 26 April 2016

Mahiya shut up Kasukuwere the Thug was appointed by the mastermind

Colonel - 26 April 2016

Bravo cde mahiya.dnt stress on kasukuwere,its his time,cming to an end.zanu is changing.this hired,small mind ,thug will be swept away together wth their friends.its time.

viola gwena - 26 April 2016

Mahiya go to hell , your time passed long ago its time for the young ones why do you think like Mugabe , do you believe on passing on the button , what Tyson is doing in going in hand with time , you are still thinking of what you used to do during the liberation in the 70s this only shows that you are still behind , what liberation ideology can you tell us which you are practising , raping and forcing people to vote for the candidate who they don't want , shame on you . We are in the 21st century were there is democracy not forced democracy yamaaita muhondo, just stay home and rest , what I think you deserve is compensation or a pension for sacrificing you life by going to war for the younger ones to work for the good of the country , you seem to be greed to the extend of forgetting that some of our brothers and sisters perished so how are they going to enjoy and keep leading like what you want to do .Tell Mugabe to just give you on farm and start farming and enjoy your pension rather that fighting the young ones who are doing their work which they were given by your evil master.ICHO

Mudhara - 26 April 2016

CDE mahiya are you even a cell leader in the party?

truth - 26 April 2016

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