Mphoko, war vets exchange blows

HARARE - War veterans yesterday responded with interest to a savage assault on them by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko who accused them on Thursday of engaging in “treason” by endorsing Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as President Robert Mugabe’s shoe-in successor.

In his Thursday polemic, delivered while addressing a Zanu PF Matabeleland North provincial committee meeting in Lupane, Mphoko warned the pro-Mnangagwa former liberation struggle fighters against talking about Mugabe’s succession while the increasingly frail nonagenarian was still on the throne.

Responding to the attack yesterday, the secretary-general of the main faction of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA), Victor Matemadanda, had no kind words for Mphoko when he spoke to the Daily News, once again accusing the under-fire VP of having deserted Zimbabwe’s war of liberation.

“What do you think is more treasonous between saying Mnangagwa is the most senior person in the Zanla (Zanu PF military wing) ranks and deserting the war, going to Mozambique and selling guns meant for waging the liberation struggle?

“What is the bigger crime between saying Mnangagwa is senior and staying in a hotel for two years, refusing to stay in a $3 million house in a country where the economy is struggling?” Matemadanda asked angrily, referring to Mphoko’s continued and controversial stay in a five-star Harare hotel.

To highlight their resolve to fight Mphoko to the bitter end in Zanu PF’s worsening factional and succession wars, he added ominously that war veterans were “ready to defend themselves” in court if it came to that.

“We will not be intimidated by his misuse of the word treason. We never said Mnangagwa should take over today or tomorrow. We are simply investing in our future as Zanla and Mphoko must not interfere because we never interfere in Zipra (Zapu military wing) issues.

“He is annoyed by our discourse because he is the face of G40 and he thinks either Jonathan Moyo or (Saviour) Kasukuwere should be president. But that will never happen, unfortunately. That will not be decided by one who deserted the war.

“What is so special about him and his Mozambican wife? He must just quietly enjoy the good life that he was given by our president which he does not deserve anyway.

“He is least qualified to talk about our revolution because he was not part of its critical stages after he deserted,” Matemadanda said, adding that the only reason why they had a semblance of respect for Mphoko was because he was appointed by “our president”.

Jumping into the melee feet first, no-nonsense ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya told the Daily News that Mphoko “has no knowledge of the issues he is commenting on”.

“We have not endorsed anybody. We were simply discussing the arrangement we had during the war of liberation. We were in Zanla and he (Mphoko) was in Zipra. How does he know events that took place in Zanla?

“In our Zanla camp, we knew Mugabe was our number one candidate followed by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Is he (Mphoko) refuting that arrangement when he was not part of our Zanla group?

“In any event, are we not allowed to discuss and speak about our history? What kind of a country is it where you are not allowed to discuss your history?” Mahiya asked, dismissing Mphoko’s treason claim as “a fruitless plot by the G40” camp.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo declined to comment on the furore, referring the Daily News to Mphoko.

“... Mphoko is a vice president of the party, why don’t you speak to him?” Khaya-Moyo said.

In his Thursday attack, Mphoko singled out Mahiya, ZNLWVA chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa, his deputy Headman Moyo and Matemadanda for tending to behave as better veterans than others.

“I want to advise these people from my professional point of view. I’m a military man and I trained very well and I’ve been a commander. War vets, never ever deceive yourselves, some of you are walking on a very dangerous course, you’re walking on the line of treason and subversion.

“These people go around talking about me, the First Lady and attack the president indirectly. That’s treason and insubordination. In actual fact building someone when the president is alive and still in office, you talk about me and say I will take over, what does that mean in military terms, it’s a coup, it’s subversion, you can go to any military annals.

“They go on to use my colleague’s name and he knows, he’s a lawyer, he’s a military man, he knows what it means to talk about the position of an elected leader. How do you claim that you will take over a position from a leader who is there and ruling? How do you do it? How are people allowed to talk about a leader who is there, by saying that you’ve ill wishes?

“When you go and speak on my behalf, you can interpret it in anyway, you’re in actual fact creating a warlord. If you speak on my behalf and say Mphoko is there, I become a warlord yet the president is there, yet everyone is supposed to rally behind the president, how then do I come in?” Mphoko was quoted saying by lapdog State media.

He also claimed that Matemadanda had only trained as a soldier after the liberation war, adding that he had allegedly rescued Mutsvangwa from imprisonment in Mozambique even as the former War Veterans minister now claimed not to know him.

The rumpus also comes as a group of 20 Masvingo Zanu PF MPs — out of the 26 party MPs in the province — met on Thursday to strategise ways of blocking the marauding war veterans from becoming “kingmakers” in the warring ruling party.

The Gutu meeting was attended by a number of Zanu PF affiliates, including the Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators Association; ex-political prisoners, detainees and restrictees and the smaller faction of the ZNLWVA.

However, legislators such as parliamentary whip Lovemore Matuke, Munyaradzi Kereke (Bikita West), Berita Chikwama, Ticharwa Madondo (Gutu North ) and Edmore Mhere of Masvingo Central snubbed the gathering.

Daniel Shumba, the most senior Zanu PF member in the province and deputy secretary for transport in the politburo, delivered closing remarks at the meeting saying in terms of due process, Zanu PF had endorsed Mugabe as its presidential candidate for 2018 at its hotly-disputed 2014 congress.

“Accordingly, that position has not changed and can only be changed by congress. Therefore, there is no vacancy, rendering all these unnecessary innuendos (about Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe) a nullity.

“These are unnecessary emotional posturing, which are destructive when we should instead be dealing with the MDC and the People First. These innuendos are a clear indication of indiscipline meant to cause anarchy and smacks of a coup,” Shumba said.

Zanu PF chairperson for Masvingo, Amasi Nenjana, also described the pro-Mnangagwa war veterans as “mad and stupid”, warning that their machinations would be strongly resisted by the party’s grassroots.

“The MPs disagreed with the war veterans and every Zanu PF member down to the wards is not happy with their conduct.

“What they are saying shows that they now have their own party which has a different constitution to that of Zanu PF or they are confusing our constitution and the war veterans’ one. They are mad and it is stupid for them to think they will be successful,” he said.

Nenjana also accused the former freedom fighters of “working tirelessly in various provinces campaigning against First Lady Grace Mugabe and political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.

“We know by painting the first lady as bad they want to cause a heart attack on the president so that he becomes incapacitated so their own leader takes over. We know what they are up to but we will counter them,” he said, further alleging that the war veterans were being funded by an unnamed Chinese company.

Comments (23)

mboko yakajaidzwa sterek.

LINER - 4 June 2016

This reminds me of what once happened way back when we were hearding cattle and goats. We cornered a troop of baboons ( about twenty) for five hours . We intended to met harsh punishment to them for having feasted on two of our goats. We pelted them with stones till they got very agitated and started fighting amongst themselves. I could not understand why they turned against each other. In 1999 when I was working in Europe I visited a zoo. I witnessed a similar action by baboons in the zoo. The zoo keeper who had studied their behaviour in detail explained to us that baboons in an enclosure feel cornered and easily get irritated and stressed especially when they see people around. So what the zoo keeper does is to throw them some food to offset the stress and calm them down otherwise they will tear each other. The reason why they fight is to nudge each other to break free but none of them will dare take the first step to do so.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 4 June 2016

This reminds me of what once happened way back when we were hearding cattle and goats. We cornered a troop of baboons ( about twenty) for five hours . We intended to met harsh punishment to them for having feasted on two of our goats. We pelted them with stones till they got very agitated and started fighting amongst themselves. I could not understand why they turned against each other. In 1999 when I was working in Europe I visited a zoo. I witnessed a similar action by baboons in the zoo. The zoo keeper who had studied their behaviour in detail explained to us that baboons in an enclosure feel cornered and easily get irritated and stressed especially when they see people around. So what the zoo keeper does is to throw them some food to offset the stress and calm them down otherwise they will tear each other. The reason why they fight is to nudge each other to break free but none of them will dare take the first step to do so.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 4 June 2016

i am not into politics but each time the vice president Mphoko talks he confuses me. and i am sure he does to everyone.

Moyo clevers - 4 June 2016

This is a fight about who should control of the soul of the party. This is also a clear vindication that Mugabe no longer has monopoly or leverage to get his way. The "wovets" are testing their political capital and pretending that only they have the right to decide Mugabe's successor. If all these contradictions are not managed well, Zimbabwe will go the way of Ivory Coast after the death of Felix Houphouet Boigny.

Doug Mushawasha - 4 June 2016

it would be asking for too much to expect @masamba akareyo to judge vp mpoko given his well chronicled antipathy towards ndebeles and his love for tribal alliances,@masamba we are in this mess because of shonas like yu who were most likely sponsored by zanu to go to europe and now yu want to distance yourself from your shona inspired party,yu shonas have destroyed this countryu and dont even try to divert the attention to mugabe,all shonas in zim are guilty of complicit,the moment yu rid yourselves of your stoneage tribalism this country will prosper

jojo - 4 June 2016

We hardly hear of solutions to pressing economic issues from those who purport to be "ruling" or "leading". Is this a clear sign they have worn shoes too large for all of them? All we hear is daily bickering as unemployed adults indulge in personality and character bashing like little school children

Sagitarr - 4 June 2016

I think jojo u are missing the point. What does the economy have to do with Shonas?? When Obert Mpofu looted and bought the whole of Mandevererand is he shona?? u should realign your senses and think strait! Nxaa

eland - 4 June 2016

@jojo. Tazviona jojo. Reading and writting you can now manage . What remains is for you to be able to think. As it is you have reached a dead-end. We will accept you as you are otherwise you will start clamouring that we discreminate against you for being born without brains.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 4 June 2016

@jojo. Tazviona jojo. Reading and writting you can now manage . What remains is for you to be able to think. As it is you have reached a dead-end. We will accept you as you are otherwise you will start clamouring that we discreminate against you for being born without brains.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 4 June 2016

@Jojo my brother use your brains to remain relevant in this debate I have got great respect for you my brother. Do away with this tribelist tendencies .

Jojo2 - 5 June 2016

@masamba &jojo2,it should be pointed out that all 3 of us if not all platformist to borrow from @samanyika all want a better zimbabwe,i have pointed out that the biggest problem this country faces is tribalism,thats y we are in this mess,we live in a country where some feel its their turn to rule based on ethnicity,some feel they should be the only ones with the levers of power based on that,senoir govt appointments mirror that,yu can rubbish me if yu want for being politically incorrect but yu could also disprove me with facts that the root cause is tribalism with its byproducts nepotism,corruption etc

jojo - 5 June 2016

All of of you are right. Its the language you are using that de-sanitise the debate. Masamba you are right in saying these quarrells are emanating from a beleagured party with nothing to offer to people who want jobs and life improvements. The baboons are cornered and have no hope of surviving this even in hell. Jojo, its true that tribal poltics is what destroyed Zanu PF in particular. And we ZImbabweans can rise above it and leave zanoids to eat each other like they are doing. For e.g. how do you explain the fact that in zanu pf the deputy president comes from matabeleland as if it is prohibited to come from matabeleland? How do you explain the continued removal of the manykas from positions of power in zanu? I think this is the point Jojo. Tribal politics by a small click in zanu. we need a competent gvt led by a competent president wherever he/she comes from,whichever language he/she speaks as long as zimbabwean. UNotonzwa munhu achiti handivhoteri mundevere !! satan!! inini i am manyika and i dont subscribe to tribalism, after all tribes are a european creation and very pejorative indeed. lets get rid of zanu pf which plays the tribal card without us losing our brains and shouting at each other. the moment we allocate tribes to each other, we are behaving like them, and they celebrate saying we have followers.

Rt Brigadier - 5 June 2016

ZANU YAKAPR

viola gwena - 5 June 2016

This Matemadanda and Mahiya are idiots and self contradicting. During the war vaMuzenda was the deputy and please can the police search these guys, they must be taking cocaine or some hard stuff.

CDE - 5 June 2016

This Matemadanda and Mahiya are idiots and self contradicting. During the war vaMuzenda was the deputy and please can the police search these guys, they must be taking cocaine or some hard stuff.

CDE - 5 June 2016

This is now clear to me why Dr Dabengwa pulled out ZANU PF, there has never been a unity in these two camps, so how do Simon and Mphoko evaluate their role in ZANU?

The Observer - 6 June 2016

ndebele zezuru manyika etc we are all zimbabweans lets unite and kick zanu pf right in the es

safa ngendlala - 6 June 2016

Guys we better look at the real issue here. Its not all about colour or tribe. Its about some individuals who are greedy. Both black, white Shona or Ndebele. Its high time we need to realise that Jojo, Masamba etc.

felix - 6 June 2016

The problem is clearly not with the political leadership, it is with the people who vote because they allow them to get away with such foolishness. One man one vote is good in principle however Zimbabwe has a high % of people sorry to say of low calibre to make sound judgements. Yes ofcourse elections are never free and fair in Zanu ruled Zimbabwe so its difficult to tell the actual will of the people however to deny that zanu has some support would be dishonest. This is the worrying bit that you have this number of people incapable of logical thought supporting numbskulls with power to rig elections where the winner takes all and therefore dictate everything. Mugabe says the leader comes from the people, they are the ones who should choose their leader...the zanu warvets & greenbombers say anyone who opposes Mugabe's pronouncements or appointees is a sell out. But then they (warvets) claim their people are too stupid to elect the leader they want, they will decide for them who the leader should be ie ED. Is that not contrary to what their dear leader Bob has continually said about leadership of his party? They then attack anyone who doesn't share this view. In anycase Zanu is Mugabe's project, he will die with it.

Galore 123 - 6 June 2016

Kill it man !!

Mudhiniwe - 6 June 2016

Kill it man !!

Mudhiniwe - 6 June 2016

Guyz don't tear each other into pieces. It's unpalatable to blame the Shonas for what is transpiring in our country. I am a Ndau and at one time Bob was itching and craving to descend on us because of Sithole the way he did the Ndebele people. Flash back why was it that Zanla and Zipra would fight each other during the war. Ask yourself, why? Tribalism is rampant and as cancerous as corruption. Zanu pf is ruling today and see for yourself. Manicaland who suffered the most during the war by virtue of having the longest stretch of a borderline with Mozambique are treated to the lower rung in the Zanu hierachy. No-one has ever been closer to either the VP or Chairmanship position. I believe that tribalism cuts across every tribe but Mugabe is excessive. If Nkomo had been voted into power in 1980 or earliest 1960 there could have been the perpetuation of tribal conquests and the civil would be in the offing as well. Nkomo, Mugabe and Sithole they all wanted power. They did not see eye to eye but Sithole and Nkomo would have been better devils. By the way there is no tribe that should claim Zimbabwe. Prove me wrong. Down with tribalism. Down with it. Our founding fathers let us down from the word go and now we are being ransomed by a clique of war veterans and look at their number versus the population.

Dhodha raMutape - 23 August 2017

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