Zim politics changing fast

HARARE - Restless war veterans, who have been a key pillar of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF’s power since Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in April 1980, have signalled that they may now be ready to embrace the country’s much-maligned opposition, after meeting with leaders of radical pressure group Tajamuka/Sesjikile last week.

Well-placed sources within Tajamuka/Sesjikile and the leadership of the former freedom fighters confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that they had “happily” met for lunch last week, even as both parties also attempted to dampen expectations by claiming that this had all been “unplanned”.

The meeting comes as Tajamuka/Sesjikile has filed a lawsuit at the Constitutional Court, seeking to have Mugabe removed from office on charges of gross human rights violations.

While analysts who spoke to the Daily News last night said there was “nothing amiss” in the two parties meeting, they agreed that it would have been “unthinkable” just a few weeks ago that war veterans could meet with people seeking to end Mugabe’s long rule.

A cagey Tajamuka/Sesjikile spokesperson, Promise Mkwananzi, said the lunch they had with the war veterans was “no big deal”.

“We don’t choose whom we meet with, as long as they are agreeable to the idea that Mugabe must resign urgently and immediately to give our country a new impetus.

“And yes, we have unprecedented developments with Zanu PF which is splitting, and war veterans are finally playing their custodian role, and the opposition forces seeming to be coming together again as well.

“Importantly, we have the steady rise of citizens’ movements and voices such as Tajamuka and others coming through,” Mkwananzi told the Daily News.

Tajamuka, apart from filing a constitutional application seeking to have Mugabe leave office immediately, are also planning fresh mass protests beginning September, if the nonagenarian does not step down by the end of August.

Last month, Tajamuka and activist cleric Evan Mawarire jointly organised a successful stay-away which was heeded by thousands of struggling workers who shut down the country in protest at Zimbabwe’s deepening economic rot, that is widely blamed on Mugabe and Zanu PF.

Mugabe and Zanu PF were last month stung by the war veterans who issued a stinging communiqué in which they ended their long relationship with the nonagenarian that stretches back to the days of the country’s liberation struggle.

Tellingly, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA’) ssecretary-general, Victor Matemadanda, who was among those arrested in the aftermath of their fallout with Mugabe, defended the lunch with Tajamuka yesterday.

“We met and we had lunch with Promise from Tajamuka. There was no plan to meet though but it was good that we met. We discussed as vana veZimbabwe (children of Zimbabwe). We do not have a problem with the likes of Promise. You only get to know these people when you get close to them and we also agree with what they are fighting for,” he said.

“Zimbabwe needs this coming together of different forces and generations to deal with Mugabe and Zanu PF’s errant rule,” said civic leader McDonald Lewanika.

“This convergence is of paramount importance and will bode well for those opposed to Mugabe and especially for the war vets who need to re-establish themselves as the champions of freedom and a just and equitable Zimbabwe, in the same altruistic fashion that made them take up arms at the risk of death.

“So it is a positive development and one hopes the vets do not look back or succumb to Zanu PF co-option as happened in the past,” he added.

Civic society leaders, opposition parties, the church and Tajamuka turned out in big numbers during the bail hearings of the leadership of war veterans, including Matemadanda and ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya — when they appeared in court recently over charges of undermining and insulting Mugabe.

Political watchers said the budding solidarity between war vets and the opposition was significant and showed a convergence of ideas among all citizens.

War veterans have been one of Mugabe and Zanu PF’s strongest pillars of support over the past five decades, playing particularly significant roles to keep the nonagenarian in power in the hotly-disputed 2000 and 2008 elections which were both marred by serious violence and the murder of hundreds of opposition supporters.

But the ex-combatants served Mugabe with divorce papers last month after growing disillusioned with the country’s worsening rot.

Addressing a hastily-convened meeting of Zanu PF supporters at the ruling party’s Harare headquarters last month, Mugabe warned the disaffected war veterans that they would be dealt with severely, including through the use of extra-judicial suppression methods that his former liberation movement incorporated during the country’s independence war in the 1970s — such as incarcerating dissenters in inhuman dungeons where they were forced to live like caged rats.

After his address, police launched a crackdown against the war vets leadership and arrested five officials, including Matemadanda and Mahiya, both of whom are currently out on bail.

Matemadanda has also told the Daily News that his life may now be in danger as some people have been monitoring his movements, while some Zanu PF yobs have invaded his Karoi farm.

“My life is in danger; they have gone a gear up. They have deployed youths to my farm. I have made a police report but the police claim that they cannot remove the youths because they were told not to use force,” Matemadanda said.

Well-placed sources within the war veterans movement have also told the Daily News that preparations are already underway for a “one million-man march to show Mugabe that he cannot just wish us away and we have the capacity to mobilise”.

“We are going to organise a march that will show the world that we are the power of Zanu PF. We want to side with the people because they have suffered enough and are tired of what the leadership has been doing.

“Yes, we were part of the system for a long time but it is now time for us to stand with the people, just like everyone else we are suffering, our children are not going to work just like everyone else, so we are concerned too,” said a war veteran who asked not to be named.

Comments (27)

Zvinodaidisa! Yes all progressive forces must find each other and seek the early and final removal of the regressive, oppressive regime that is represented by one Robert Mugabe. Thirty six years of hatred, oppression and decay is just too much for us.

Viva Unidade - 11 August 2016

What is the use of liberating a child if the freed child educated but does not have means of survival. A prison has food and shelter. A free citizen in Zimbabwe has no food, no shelter and no means of sustaining life

amina - 11 August 2016

War vets should be extremely careful of making big mistakes that may destroy their credibilty

Tengenenge - 11 August 2016

The sooner we see the back end of RGM the better for our country. RGM has never loved Zimbabwe. He had his own agenda and Zimbabweans were not among his agendas. That is why he used brute force to murder Zimbabweans under Gukurahundi. But his strategies of divide and rule, learned from Smith worked. He always has good reasons for causing damage to Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe...F*CK YOU!

Handiende - 11 August 2016

At a time when I was struggling to withdraw my own hard earned cash earned from vending because I cannot find work or gainfully practice my trade, RGM had enough money to send his daughter to Singapore - Yes, Singapore to give birth. My mother and uncle died last week. The uncle is a war vet, we had to push him in a wheelbarrow to the clinic near Mt Carmel, where there were no drugs except pain killers and the nurse aid there was unable to help. But Bona was in a top class hospital simply to give birth and her father was on hand, having commandeered a whole jet to take them to Singapore, leaving us in queues at the banks. That is the Mugabe leader we have. Now, soon they will unleash their bond bearer cheques to replace our USDollars they already filtered to their offshore accounts.

Handiende - 11 August 2016

Our war vets with a reputation of removing troublesome govts from under their belts they must do it again by joining hands with civilians and remove the tyranny .

Diibulaanyika - 11 August 2016

those having faith in the said leadership of warvets need to get their heads examined,for starters we have a democratically elected govt whose term ends in 2018,second the govt is seized with discharging its electoral mandate and we have youths ready to be allocated housing stands,which will result in massive public works programme thereby unlocking thousands of jobs in construction,fourth as children of genuine war veterans,we are the custodians of democracy in zimbabwe and anybody who attempts to unseat a legitmate govt will incur our wrath

truth - 11 August 2016

kkkkkkkk someone still thinks Mugabe was elected fairly last election when people were killed homes burnt in 2008 which made them to be scared to make their choice freely in 2013 bcoz of what zanu did to them the previous election then that person is likely to be one of 4m insane zimbos or has benefited from the chaos finish and klaa ,More so we have seen govts world over asked to resign or removed before their terms expire and it happened recently in Brazil . So what is so special about a 92 yr old Mugabe who we all know is no more fit to anything but sleeping only , He must go like ysterday

Diibulaanyika - 11 August 2016

Any government that distributes stands at political rallies cannot be trusted with managing any economy. Truth, my brother, Mugabe is a gigantic economic disaster. He has absolutely no clue as to how to manage an economy. Remember how he eulogised GG praising him for thinking outside the box as corporate FCAs were looted in broad daylight. This is the same man (RGM) who is working on a self-empowering programme through the medium of bond notes. My heart cries daily when I think of the Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe is preparing for us. What did we do to deserve such a cruel diabolical dictator?

Viva Unidade - 11 August 2016

Why sound apologetic about a Tajamuka fella . Hey Zimbos meet who you want and when you want without thinking of Rob . Haa munomutya .

Amai Mandigona - 11 August 2016

The first point of convergence for political parties, activists, war veterans, professionals and religious leaders is to refuse the continued exploitation of Africans and their resources by the former slave and colonial masters, and the Chinese.

ADF - 11 August 2016

@truth Which part of constitution alloys president to take urban land and give to youths supporters? Lack of rule of law destroys the economy since only a fool would invest in such an invironment.

bexilford - 11 August 2016

Warvets have NO bad reputation.Its pple in g40 that GIVE warvets bad reputation.We fought a war bcoz of our beliefs,not bcoz of money,like g40.Thats a good gesture from a good pple.

viola gwena - 11 August 2016

Operation tajamuka, so you think this group is ever going to bring any change to R. G. Mugabe. You think they will have sleepless nights with your freak demos and whats up charts. No nyika haitorwe zvakadaro. If the country was liberated by the barrel of the gun, you think by staging a demo and woke up one to hear the president has resigned is just day dreaming. Mudhara knows that they have had their time and it's time for the youth to be given a chance, but that does not happen if he has not taken all his comrades with him. He needs to get ride of all the war veterans making sure he doesn't anyone of them in very influencial positions in the part. Saka varikuti handei macomrades hapana anosara tevere ini pakupedzisira. from there we're going to see a new Zanu Pf isina zvekuti takarwa hondo. nguva yechigandanga yakapera.

kurotawo - 12 August 2016

mr president has to resign b4 year ends we will always remember you bob ,kkkk blair keep your england and l will keep my zim . does zim belong to bob ?

safa ngendlala - 12 August 2016

keep on dreaming people, the president is not going anywhere kusvika Mwari avatora

mie - 12 August 2016

These war veterans,like their fellows the uniformed forces generals and other demented individuals in ZanuPf like Jonathan Moyo, have it in their crooked minds that they are the kingmakers in this country. These guys are a confused bunch of idiots who only go where the 'directionless' wind takes them. They lack any sense of principle and have no single thread of moral fibre. In fact,to me these guys are mercenaries. They have never done anything for nothing including the so called going to war. They are a greedy lot very selfish and they always want to get things in their own terms. Thus by going to war,they bought Zimbabwe from all others and it became their property to be passed on as estate to their children and great grand children. They are more Zimbabwean than other Zimbabweans. They own it like a company or worse off a farm and as such the director,the farm manage,supervisor should come from among them only. The rest of the citizenry thus is relegated to being manual labourers in the farm.Not so long ago Mrs Joice Mujuru was 'victimised' by the same system and means which they created. However, because she was not their choice as 'kingmakers', they did not question it. Rather, they celebrated and endorsed the system until the tide turned against their chosen one Mr ED Mnangagwa. That is the weird mentality of these people. If they (the war veterans) are to be part of the future,they have to be genuine and not double faced as they currently are. As for now I don't know what exactly they stand for ,if ever there is. To me not everyone who says Mr Mugabe is bad is a friend.Likewise not everyone who says Mr Mugabe is good is an enemy. To think of joining forces with the war veterans lacks logic. There are a lot of irreconcilable differences. Its like Zuma coming together with Malema to form one political party or ISIS forming a partnership with the democrats of USA. The two never meet.

mosquito - 12 August 2016

And to pin our hopes on the people (war vets including Mujuru, Mutasa, etc) is gross stupidity.

mosquito - 12 August 2016

WE, THE PROGRESSIVE AND DEMOCRACTIC CHILDREN OF ZIMBABWE APPLAUD THE ACTION BY OUR WAR VETS TO DIVORCE THEMSELVES FROM THE MURDEROUS REGIME OF ZANU PF. NOW IS TIME FOR THEM TO REFLECT ON THEIR PAST BEHAVIOUR, DISOWN ZANU PF AND MOVE AHEAD WITH THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. IT IS ALSO HIGH TIME THAT THEY COME CLEAN ON THE EXTENT OF THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE DISAPPEARENCE OF OUR POLITICAL ACTIVISTS AS WELL AS EXPOSE AND SHAME THOSE WHO SENT THEM TO COMMIT THOSE HEINOUS ACTS AGAINST THE INNOCENT POPULATION.

IsheZimuto - 12 August 2016

Truth you are an unrepentant Mugabe ass licker. Very stupid indeed. It is you and Mugabe who have demented heads and do not need any examination nor medication, for your heads have reached madness of irrevocable levels. What mandate is the Goblin fulfilling? Where are the 2.2million jobs?? Give the citizens an update of the ZIMASSET rubbish, now that we have less that two years to the next plebiscite.

ZimVendorisedNation - 12 August 2016

Hope keeps us alive. Hope gives us a reason to live. If these meetings give us nothing but the hope of a sure, better, freer Zimbabwe then they will have fulfilled the purpose. The Mugabe regime may have taking everything good but we will not let it take our hope for a better future. A better future for our children. A better future for the ordinary man. A better future for the people. Let us keep HOPE alive!

Viva Unidade - 12 August 2016

@viva unidale,its presidents mugabes government not mugabe regime

truth - 12 August 2016

Change is inevitable.smewhr on this forum I pased a comment that if sun is setting,going ,noone can pull it back to 1500 hrs.not a chance.Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai are past .They represent the past.New leadership is coming,no doubt,to replace these 2.One is very old n the other very sick.Time up.In zanu only one man stands out, Ngwena.In Mdc only one character will add value to Zimbabwe leadership, and that is Roy Burnnet.He is a straight man of character.While Ngwena brings in stability ,Pachedu brings seriouse business from the West.Only as a GNU.Its unfortunate Pachedu has been thrown out by Save,out of mdc,or allowed to rot in SA, by Save ,conviniently.Bt Pachedu has class n is strong on certein areas Zanu lacks.

viola gwena - 12 August 2016

Yu may dislike Pachedu in mdc,bt as a person and political economics he is a champion.Noone in mdc can match him.The issue of colour culd be his undoing in mdc, .

viola gwena - 12 August 2016

i find it so very difficult to sympathise with Cde Matemadanda..what is happening to him is exactly what he and his other friends have been doing to others all along..welcome to the other side of life cde..

itai musekiwa - 12 August 2016

@kurotawo - don't limit your mind to current knowledge only. Remember, even a giant man can be killed by a mosquito. It happened before, and the chap was a Poland-trained doctor called Chenjerai Hunzvi. We have seen many crazy people in this party who thought they were immortal by tethering their souls to Mugabe. They come and go.

Sagitarr - 15 August 2016

Do you need any spiritual Help contact me today...

Alhaji Baba Fear God - 2 February 2017

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.