Mugabe's Zanu PF has failed: War vets

HARARE - In yet another unprecedented attack on President Robert Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF, disgruntled war veterans linked to embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa say the former liberation movement has been an unmitigated disaster since it came to power in April 1980.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday — as Zimbabwe continues on its precipitous economic decline that is widely blamed on Mugabe and Zanu PF — the disaffected former freedom fighters, who have been pivotal in keeping the ruling party in power for the past 36 years, savaged its “wrong policies” and corrupt tendencies.

The spokesperson of the main faction of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), Douglas Mahiya, also said bluntly that Mugabe and his party had “forgotten the egalitarian principles of the liberation struggle” — a situation he said portended doom for the country.

“The policies that have been pursued by the government since independence have never been for the people. They have never been for the workers, but for a few individuals who are corrupt and have led the country into the economic problems we are currently having.

“Successive ministers of Labour since 1980 have, for example, not made any efforts to put in place legislation that protects the worker. Yet this was something that we discussed while in Mozambique that we would value labour,” he said.

He added that war veterans were livid that the country’s wealth remained in the hands of a few, mostly those occupying senior positions in government, and a few others who were politically-connected.

Mahiya also asked that war veterans be given the mandate to investigate corrupt government and Zanu PF officials, “if we entertain any hopes of reviving the economy”.

“Why don’t they allow war veterans to go deep and tackle the issue of corruption? We have that capacity and we know who the corrupt are both in Zanu PF and government.

“We advocate for a situation where the money being paid to executives in government as well as the private sector is reduced by 50 percent. We had hoped that policies that would have seen workers buy shares in companies would be put in place, but that has not been the case as we now have corrupt leaders who believe that money belongs to them and industry, and not workers.

“What we have seen is an obscene accumulation of wealth by a few, who are building mansions and one wonders what work they did to afford that,” he said.

The tough-talking ex-combatant also admitted that Zimbabweans were angry with their ever-deteriorating circumstances, to the extent that they were now boycotting government programmes — as seen when Mnangagwa addressed a virtually empty Rufaro Stadium last Monday during the government-organised Workers’ Day commemorations.

“In the absence of correct policies, people tend to shun these events. They need not be bussed to attend such events when all is well.

“They should just feel obliged to follow their leaders but we know that the Zanu PF commissariat department always busses people to hoodwink the president into thinking that all is well and that people are happy when it is clear that they are not,” Mahiya said.

This is not the first time that war veterans have openly savaged Mugabe and Zanu PF. In another unprecedented move that shook the ruling party down to its core three weeks ago, other disgruntled former liberation fighters said they had had enough of the increasingly frail nonagenarian, adding that it was time he left office.

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

Liberation struggle stalwart, Bernard Manyadza, whose war-time nom de guerre was Parker Chipoyera and who was the head of instructors at the famous Mgagao Camp, said war veterans — the majority of whom are wallowing in abject poverty — had had enough of Mugabe’s “misrule”.

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 a 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 . . . Mugabe to succeed Sithole. In light of this, it is abundantly clear that 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 recent meeting in Harare with a faction of war veterans as a non-event, Manyadza — who was flanked by other “real” ex-combatants — said the 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.

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 (Grace Mugabe), 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 and the war veterans corps.

Only last month as well, respected ruling 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”.

Comments (25)

Why in the first place did you allow him to lead you? Now makutinyaudza ndimi makakonzeresa imi madinga evanhu.

Bond note - 5 May 2016

Yes Bob's zanu has been an unmitigated disaster since it came to power in 1980. Unfortunately the same war vets were responsible in propping him and removing all the mitigating controls, destroying strong opposition and setting up a one party state and in the process committing genocide. Supporting the amendment of the constitution to create an executive president accountable to no one and demanding 50K payments + £2K per month which the country could not afford. Looting all institutions where their lot have been appointed. Mugabe and the whole infrastructure that prop him (war vets included) have been a curse to Zimbabwe. You will all be remembered in the same way we remember Hitler, Mussolini and Idi Amini, Pinochet.

Galore 123 - 5 May 2016

At long last some war veterans are now seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. Zimbabwe is not an incoming generating project for a view individuals in ZANU PF. If every Zimbabwean disadvantaged by ZANU PF's mismanagement stands up I tell you Mugabe will be history very soon.

dzapiringana - 5 May 2016

This Mahiya and his war idiots must shut the f%$#k up!!!!!!!!!!! You killed in the name of ZANU PF, the nation, Robert and your ignorance. How many times were you told what you want us to believe

garikayi - 5 May 2016

These warvets are the co-authors of our current problems, they must shut up!...

Zapata - 5 May 2016

war idiots handiti?! you can say that ten more times!

SaManyika Chaiye - 5 May 2016

Where were you the war verts only to say this today? You are cowards also, truly God shall judge you for being the dragon that gave its seat authority to this beast. Rev 13: 2 ... the dragon gave the beast its seat and authority. All this is being done to persecute the saints (Rev 17: 6) till it is drunk with the blood of the saints.

Olie - 5 May 2016

This Manyadza veteran and his lot should have said these things in 1990, or 1995. I remember a government minister was leaning against his state provided Benz while he watched a burning heavy vehicle trailer burning. Edgar Tekere had been standing on it while he attempted to address a ZUM rally but Zanu would have non of it.

Yeoman Thomas - 5 May 2016

As long war vets think they have title deeds to this country, their problems will get worse. There is no freedom in this country that they claim to have freed. Mugabe should kick them harder and knock some senses in them. The world is now a global village, less enemies the better.. War vets should all stand down, they played their part its time for fresh brains to take the country forward on a rightful path.

X-MAN IV - 5 May 2016

How come wht viola wrote yestaday is axactly wht mahiya is saying.is it coincident.

hove - 5 May 2016

The war vets are not saying anything new here, ordinary people have been saying these things for years. Mugabe has been a disaster from day one killing thousands of people from Matabeleland and the Midlands in the 80s and repeating the same thing in the noughties this time to MDC supporters. In the meantime he is corrupt to the core with the corrupt guys always rising to the top and some taking 15 billion as pocket money whilst he looks away uninterested in tackling his favourite pet corruption.

Inyika - 5 May 2016

lets act

toti - 6 May 2016

It is time we fight ZANU PF and Mugabe out of office. There is no hope with this corrupt party in power.

GOBO - 6 May 2016

Vachati phuuuuuuu. Makati Ndabaningi mutengesi

MAIWEEEE - 6 May 2016

Since 1980 many things changed ministers came and went but one thing that has not changed is Mugabe war vets must not beat around the bush tell the moron point blank that he has to go it is time up . He has promoted corruption including stealing elections by intimidating, killing and burning homes of those who do not support him . Remaining in power through violence is being corrupt not democratic . But as we all know these so called war vets are idiots bcoz they are always lugging behind and they see things very late suwa they should have supported Gayigusu and Gwasela who saw that Mugabe was going to bring disaster to this land very in the early 80s and wanted to correct the situation early but was late down by these fools when then decided to then sing Jongwe rakakunda 24/7 on The then radio 2 and worshiped Mugabe more than god .All what they are talking is nonsense of course .

Diibulaanyika - 6 May 2016

The war vets cannot and must not dictate but they are most definitely allowed to express their opinion and have a say in the running of this country and I think that most of them totally understand their position within the ruling structures of this country. Like them or not many of them suffered extreme hardships during the war - all of them literally gave up everything to fight for liberation and proper democracy. Do they have legitimate grievances? Yes, I think they do - so many of them have been denied the rewards and recognition they were promised during the liberation struggle and in today's society seem to be despised by many at the top. They were used as instruments to remove the former colonial Government and have now literally been dumped like useless old tools and thrown into the dustbin. This, I absolutely guarantee you, will happen to the youths now engaged in this political politics and factionalism - once their purpose is over they too will be dumped and forgotten. Right from the very beginning Robert Mugabe has made promises he has never kept - he likes playing one against the other and has been extremely successful at it. Just remember that there is a beginning and an end to every game. Your game is nearly ober Mr Mugabe.

Fikile - 6 May 2016

It is a shame that we have pple who do not know that the pple who suffered too much during war were the civilians in rural areas not the so called war vets who had firesarms to defend themselves .Civilians were the worst abused by both RDF and the terrorists with terrorists killing pples for minor things like giving them vegetables for food raped women .and a lot of evil acts they committed which is haunting them now . come independence they have been used to kill opposition supporters and helping zanu stay in power violently suwa how does a sane adult humanbeing take these guys serious . They are the ones keeping Mugabe in power by being used by him to kill those who do not support him . They must learn from umkhonto wesizwe s swapo or mau mau once the war was over they never took sides politically in their countries nor do we hear them bragging about being victors . These guys war vets actual talk shiit .

Diibulaanyika - 6 May 2016

Why do the Zanla/Zipra cadres make more noise than Swapo/Umkhonto etc cadres? It's not only Zimbabwe but many other countries which have a history of guerilla warfare? By the same token, shouting that we have the most educated president/people in the world is actually a shame - educated in what? Disaster creation? Cheating, stealing, murdering each other?

Sagitarr - 7 May 2016

KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

tee - 9 May 2016

Kkkkkkkk , mahwani , Rega tinyarare hedu isu ma O' VET

Chihuta - 11 May 2016

Zvinoshamisa motanga kutaura zvino makanga muripi since 1980 pwetere pwetere tibvirwepo it too late _chirimpoto

khumz - 11 May 2016

Our pride was swallowed by the greed valture, our fathers fought for the better of us their children but it was never there .l am one of those who grow up without a father,mine joined Zanla in the late 70s in order to lebarate our beloved Zimbabwe for us to live in hamorny .it so sad that after the whole struggle he never lived to enjoy a single hour of his life and witness his child growing in a country he lebarated his life was cut short , he never meet his blood he left behind as pregnancy ,he was slain soon after independents, l was robe of my life ,l grow up disadvantage but today l grow up to be a man and l say l will not allow what happened to me happen to my children we need change ,change for us for our next generation madara ngaanozorora,Skhathele ngani ,to hell

khumz - 11 May 2016

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.