War vets unnerve Mugabe, Zanu PF

HARARE - Last Thursday’s dramatic decision by restless war veterans to cut ties with President Robert Mugabe has spooked the warring governing Zanu PF, amid growing fears that the fall-out could trigger mass arrests and detentions of leaders of the former freedom fighters.

And as expected, Mugabe’s panicking government came out guns blazing yesterday, warning ominously that it would investigate the liberation struggle fighters’ “traitorous and treasonous” move with a view to “punishing” them.

Well-placed sources who also spoke to the Daily News on Sunday yesterday confirmed that plans were afoot by authorities to throw the kitchen sink at the aging war veterans to “not just quell their rebellion, but to send a powerful message that traitorous and treasonous actions will be brutally dealt with”.

“You must see this in reality as a declaration of war by a reserve army that is governed by the Defence Act.

“That is how serious all this is, and it is the reason why you have seen the government reacting as robustly, appropriately so, as it has done through Retired Brigadier-General Walter Tapfumaneyi (ministry of War Veterans permanent secretary).

“For that reason, we expect serious consequences to befall all those disloyal war veterans who are behind these traitorous and treasonous actions in the next few days,” one of the sources said, hinting that war veterans’ leader Christopher Mutsvangwa and his close allies were in trouble.

Lapdog State media predictably went into overdrive yesterday, condemning the war veterans without reporting in any meaningful detail what the former freedom fighters had said on Thursday and what their real grievances with Mugabe are.

This was after government-controlled newspapers and their sister radio and television stations studiously ignored the mega story when it broke out, with journalists working in those media houses saying their bosses had until late Friday been “frantically looking for direction” from their handlers on how to deal with the blockbuster news.

In his belated reaction, Tapfumaneyi claimed that the former freedom fighters who attended the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) meeting in Harare on Thursday which had savaged Mugabe to no end had allegedly distanced themselves from the “traitorous and treasonous” communiqué that was released after the gathering.

Ominously, Tapfumaneyi was also quoted saying that the government was investigating the matter “with a view to punishing those behind the traitorous communiqué”.

“Government, therefore, dismisses the said traitorous so-called communiqué which is treasonable in the constitutional democracy that Zimbabwe is, with utter disdain and all the contempt that it deserves.

“While multi-agency investigations are under way to establish its origins, authorship, ownership and purpose which will bring all associated with it to justice, the ministry urges all patriotic veterans of the liberation struggle to remain loyal to His Excellency the president and to the party, to remain disciplined and principled while at the same time being wary of the divisive machinations of Zimbabwe’s detractors,” he said.

On his part, a more measured War Veterans minister, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, said former freedom fighters should engage Mugabe for a redress of any grievances that they had, without adopting a confrontational approach — adding that a militant approach would act as a disservice to the war veterans and their association.

“I want to know what this means and I will engage the war veterans to reason together. As long as they say they are Zanu PF, we say if they have any grievances they must come through the right channels,” he said, also dispelling any notion that his ministry would not work with Mutsvangwa and his ZNLWVA executive.

“As far as we are concerned we are working on the welfare of the war veterans. Even if he (Mutsvangwa) is expelled from the party, as long as he is a war veteran it is his constitutional right that we should look after his welfare.

“It does not mean that if you have been expelled from the party now we cannot execute your welfare rights. We have not been given a right to stop looking at them as war veterans,” he said, adding that it was up to the ZNLWVA, and not his ministry, to call for a congress to elect a new leadership for war veterans.

Zanu PF sources who spoke to the Daily News on Sunday yesterday said the decision by the war veterans to serve divorce papers on Mugabe had allegedly shaken both the ruling party and the increasingly frail nonagenarian.

“I’m worried because the support base for the president is getting smaller with this development. It would appear that the only firm support he still has in the party is from the women’s league and a few mafikizolos (Johnny-come-latelies),” one disaffected party bigwig said.

Former Zanu PF chairman for Mashonaland West, Temba Mliswa, said the women’s league’s support for the president counted for little as this was a result of First Lady Grace Mugabe being in charge of that organ — whom he described as “having no real credibility within politics anyway”.

“The biggest mistake that Mugabe made was allowing the purge (expulsion of Mujuru and her allies) to happen, thus reducing the potency of the ideology of Zanu PF and the historical gravitas of the liberation struggle. In the purges Mugabe lost advisors like Didymus Mutasa, people who would stand with him through trying times,” he added.

Analysts also say war veterans have been one of Mugabe’s strongest pillars of support — playing particularly significant roles to keep the nonagenarian on the throne in the hotly-disputed 2000 and 2008 elections which were both marred by serious violence and the murder of hundreds of opposition supporters.

But on Thursday they said  Mugabe’s continued stay in power was now a stumbling block to the country’s development, declaring that he would also be “a hard-sell” if he contested the watershed 2018 presidential elections.

“We are saying this country will only go up when Mugabe steps aside because his management is no longer respected by anyone, including his own ministers,” war veterans’ political commissar, Francis Nhando, told journalists during a media briefing in Harare.

“If he announces his retirement date now, the economy will improve because there is nobody who will invest his money where the future is uncertain. Nobody will lend money to a 92-year-old and if he does not step aside, 2018 will be the most difficult year to campaign for us as war veterans.

“How do you campaign for someone you do not like and who does not like you either? The relationship between us as war veterans and the president has broken down, he and the party don’t like us anymore,” he added.

“The most important thing that we must see is that everybody cannot be wrong. The church is speaking, the informal sector is speaking, civil servants are speaking and now his vanguard the war veterans have spoken,” academic and scholar, Pedzisai Ruhanya, told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday.

“Mugabe must speak now. People want to see the regeneration of the economy and yet the president has remained silent in face of corruption in parastatals. The very people who Mugabe is protecting are being affected by the crisis at hand and yet Mugabe has no solution but to answer protests with protests,” he added.

Kent University law lecturer Alex Magaisa said Mugabe had every reason to be afraid now as he had lost his “last line of defence”.

“He is obviously getting more and more isolated from his old constituency of liberation leaders. The G40 plan is coming up well as they have managed to isolate Mugabe by systematically decimating the old guard.

“This is what the G40 has always desired. Although Mugabe is a master politician, he does not seem to have grasped that the G40 is a project aimed at isolating him and removing his entire generation altogether,” Magaisa said.

The fall-out between Mugabe and his storm troopers also comes as the 92-year-old is battling swelling public anger against him and Zanu PF, which has seen strikes and riots hurting the already dying economy further.

Earlier this month teachers, nurses and doctors went on strike after the government failed to pay them their June salaries on time, and there are growing doubts about the capacity of the cash-strapped government to pay civil servants their July salaries on time.

Comments (24)

Ini zi zvangu...watching da drama from far away. Zvaiwana ngwarati Mutsvangwa, he wants to drag the whole f%$#ng country into chaos!! How many times were these idiots told by the opposition about dictatorial tendences dzaBob, how many times did they kill, murder and loot together with Bob & Co. Nhasi zvaita sei?? Mavhurika maziso manje!!! Idiots but anyway well done to Prof JM THE PLAN IS WORKING WELL destroy from within, destroy the centre of power and the rest is history

garikayi - 24 July 2016

If yu really believe that yo leaders are worying about economy,think again.They are busy thinking how to deal wth hyenas,owls,snakes n the british.Very old mystery leaders.All these strikes n stay aways they wuld rather consult profets n n'angas on how to suppress them.They wont spare a minute to consult economists like Robertson whos warnings have all come to pass.Shame.

viola gwena - 24 July 2016

This diesel theory from a rock was their attempt to solve fuel problems the country had.It was the 1st and only solution cabinet sat n concluded ,that Retina the n'anga was the solution.A whole cabinet n polutburo.Who wasnt part of the decision?Polutburo then cabinet zeroed on Retina the n,'anga for a solution.What circus is this.Professors in that polutburo.Now its Wimbo.eh.

viola gwena - 24 July 2016

And to reflect their sincerity in this ,they locked up the old n'anga when diesel was not produced enuf to solve the country problem od fuel.Is this not good enuf proof that we are being led by n'angas in a world of technonology?.

viola gwena - 24 July 2016

I may not agree with the war veterans frank and hard hitting statement but the truth is nobody expects anything positive from a leader who has seen Zimbabwe slide into the abyss while his own are raking ill-gotten millions through land deals (Chiyangwa, Chombo), road contracts (augur investments/Chombo, grey millions Mutsvangwa and I will not comment about the contracts earmarked for Mboko s son or the Dema Zesa contracts. We need a new leader if our constructive engagements with the East and West will amount to anything. Mnangagwa step now or forever hold your peace.

Tekere - 24 July 2016

Kkkkk constitutional democracy, saka if its a democracy why want to punish people who say they no longer want to be associated with Mugabe. Kkkk democracy in Zanu Pf, kutanga rinhi, angoti haachadi Zanu, must die, thats ZANU PF policy. Mugabe spells democracy the other way. Kana vanhu vati havachadi zve ZANU PF, ITS THEIR CHOICE, LET IT BE. Heee investigations, for what, does that need to be investigated, HAVACHADI ZVE ZANU MA WAR VET.

Zhara - 24 July 2016

Oh i did not know that opting to leave ZANU PF is treacherous kkkkkk, vakomana kurumbidzai kusiya ZANU very fast, kkkk ZANU PF YE ROPA, zvino voda kudeura ropa rema war vet for the third time after chimurenga, gukurahundi etc. But do you think war vets are stupid, those guys know the system more than anyone. The war vet executive should know what to do.

Zhara - 24 July 2016

zvamaiimba muchiti Zanu ndeye ropa maifunga iropa raani? its yours you veteran fools.Chimbomutii tokonyo muone zvaanokuitai. After all you heard him boasting about degrees in violence

ZIGGY ZIGAWO - 24 July 2016

this is huge,a hungry man is the most dangerous one"visa versa"a desperate man can do desperate measures and regrets later"Mugabe's brains is longtime bably bold

Mugabereka - 24 July 2016

Have Mugabe ever looked himself on the mirror?#Baboon wringled face

Mugabereka - 24 July 2016

Our country needs a revolution, an election has failed to give us any result the old goblin has rigged each election that has taken place in our country. I stand with the War Vets, the people of Zimbabwe and all those who love the country, victory is certain. #People Power

Godlwayo Omnyama - 25 July 2016

KKKKKKK MuchTonga we say simweenda alike kakamutola kalonga meaning the one who wakes alone can be easily swept away by the river now Mugabe left alone as it is the river of democracy will sweep him away for good never to be seen again .But if this guy was sane he was going to ask himself why every one is abandoning him as if he smells of shiit . Something is terribly wrong but anyway he is just following on the foot steps of other dictactors who just buy time when things are obvious that they are no longer wanted by people .But for shuwa Mugabe kalamutola kalonga just watch this space

Diibulaanyika - 25 July 2016

Mugabe is forgetting that these war veterans have got families of their own to look after.They also sent their children to school in order for them to have better lives. Now the children are just sitting at home doing nothing but surviving on their father's pension of $150 and living on a plot where no meaningful farming is taking place.The children are now a heavy burden to their parents coz their is no work coz industries are closed.This has now opened their eyes .Its either they dance to Mugabe's tune and die in poverty or they do something for their families now.Remember those born in 1980 are 36 years old now and some of them have now been gainfully employed.A hungry man is an an angry man.There is no turning back now coz in Zim its either you are rich or poor no more middle class.

chimuti - 25 July 2016

The biggest mistake by those in power is failure to investigate and deal with corruption. Its painful when the masses are going hungry yet they see some few powerful elites stealing and enjoying what should be meant for the poor. So ,many cases of corruption are reported but nothing is done. The only attempts by the anti corruption commission was to arrest Mayor Manyenyeni son after his acquital from court. Otherwise we will continue to witness corruption as long as nothing is done. AND we know the G40 continue tpo steal our resources without any shame. Imagine if they manage to dole vast pieces of land to the youths, how much themselves have awarded their families. We need an end to this madness as yesterday. Otherwise we will continue to sing SANCTIONS, SANCTIONS, SANCTIONS instead of CORRUPTION, CORRUPTION, CORRUPTION.

Viona Ngwena - 25 July 2016

This is the most clueless, most corrupt and most incompetent government in the world. And would that be surprising when the whole world watches them doze off in meetings here and abroad. We deserve better and the war vets have spoken. Harivhikwi shoko.

garandichauya - 25 July 2016

The fact that the authorities want to investigate and punish those behind the " divorce" communique is a clear sign that democracy does not not exist in Zimbabwe.Its just a pipe dream.Its ok when they expel people from the party but if people decide to expel themselves,it is traitorous.Mafioso style,You don't resign,but you wait to be expelled or eliminated.Mafioso style

Janana wa Bikaz - 25 July 2016

The majority of us, the war veterans who have been sidelined since 1980, have spoken. What the so-called G40 and the mafikizolos thought was unthinkable and inconceivable has come to pass. Whatever investigations they carry out will not reverse what is glaringly obvious that the war veterans no longer need President Mugabe as their patron. That is a fact that any reasonable person can deny. Can we be forced to like someone we no longer give respect. Why then investigate those who no longer like you and leave out those ministers and government officials who continue to pillage our economy? The crust of the matter is comrade Mutswangwa is our man. And we will not accept any leader who is imposed on us and neither is it the opportune time to go for elections to choose another leadership of the war veterans before its term of office comes to an end. Minister Dube should take heed that we will not be pushed to elect another leadership at present. but will do it on our own terms and at such time we consider it necessary. Enough is enough.

Chimbwido Warvet - 25 July 2016

The majority of us, the war veterans who have been sidelined since 1980, have spoken. What the so-called G40 and the mafikizolos thought was unthinkable and inconceivable has come to pass. Whatever investigations they carry out will not reverse what is glaringly obvious that the war veterans no longer need President Mugabe as their patron. That is a fact that any reasonable man can not deny. Can we be forced to like someone we no longer give respect. Why then investigate our comrades who have made it abundantly clear that they no longer want President Mugabe to be their patron and leave out those ministers and government officials who continue to pillage our economy while our people are suffering at their expense? The crust of the matter is comrade Mutswangwa is our man. And we will not accept any leader who is imposed on us and neither is it the opportune time to go for elections to choose another leadership of the war veterans before its term of office comes to an end. Minister Dube should take heed that we will not be pushed to elect another leadership at present. but will do it on our own terms and at such time we consider it necessary. Enough is enough.

Chimbwido Warvet - 25 July 2016

Tshinga Dube please stop this nonsense of caring for all war vets despite political orientation. Its openly known that wants you become anti-Zanu PF your war vet status is stripped off. War vets are people with families to look after. A 36 year old man or woman is most likely now a parent with no job hence still a dependent. Please forget about blind loyalty and move forward with what you have started. One step in the right direction is better than staying in the wrong place. Its a bit late yes but never too late. Zimbabwe still has lots of potential. We're tired of buying nappies for vazukuru. Pamberi with economic liberation. A true comrade will never leave a wounded comrade behind.... VIVA true comrades. Mugabe should go. He did not even fight in the liberation struggle. Enough is Enough

Dakarai - 25 July 2016

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Tau - 25 July 2016

Investigating war vets for choosing to leave Zanu PF, not Supa Mandiwanzira for looting $200,000 from Parastatals to buy a luxury car? That's Zanu PF for you.

XG - 25 July 2016

Mugabe may be old, but he is still calculated, for him retaining power is everything. He would never dump War Vets if he didn't need them. Their time and use for him is over. He has used them and dumped them. His new power is in the youths. Where do you think the 165 000 ghost workers are?

Anthony Galtieri - 25 July 2016

Mr Robert Mugabe is a criminal. The wife is trecherous & treasonous. She wants tribal genocide in Zimbabwe. The husband is the chief of coruption. Arrest the two and lock them up in Chikurubi.

Simon Bhene - 25 July 2016

I remember the late Dr. Edison Zvobgo saying, "Zanupf sinjololo, tamba wakachenjera". Mutsvangwa was speaking all negativity when mai Mujuru was fired and today he is the one in the same corner. Tyson beware also cause this the game of Bob and his gang. War Vets now have come into their senses after 36 years. Sure puppies do not open their eyes at once. Shame on you! I pray that God hears you and that you war vets get what you want.

wemachongwe - 26 July 2016

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