Now war vets dump Zanu PF

HARARE - Disaffected war veterans — who served divorce papers on President Robert Mugabe last month — have now gone a step further, announcing yesterday that they would no longer support Zanu PF only going forward, but would allow their members to embrace political parties of their choice.

The stunning development, that will once again rock the already reeling ruling party to its foundation, comes after the restless former freedom fighters recently embraced radical pressure group, Tajamuka/Sesjikile, which has been leading protests against Mugabe and Zanu PF’s misrule of the past 36 years.

The seismic announcement also comes at a time that warring Zanu PF bigwigs are in serious panic mode over plans by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to enter a 2018 electoral pact with former vice president Joice Mujuru and her Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) outfit.

“We are the people’s soldiers and we will continue to fight for the people of Zimbabwe. People should not be stopped from interacting or joining any political party of their choice from now onwards. We are going to be on the people’s side.

“We own this country and we will never form another political party because all the political parties are linked to us. We are referees and Zanu PF was formed after Zapu was banned. We are now allowing every Zimbabwean to support any political party of their choice, whether Zanu PF or any other party,” war veterans’ spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya told the Daily News.

Ahead of yesterday’s announcement, speculation had been rife that the war veterans were mulling forming their own political party.

But even this decision not to back Zanu PF will come as a massive body blow to the ruling party as it has been unthinkable, until now, to associate ex-combatants with any other political party.

It was only when they met with Tajamuka’s leadership last week that there was the first gobsmacking hint that the former freedom fighters were now ready to embrace the country’s much-maligned opposition.

“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 seem 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,” Tajamuka spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi said then as he welcomed the war veterans’ gesture of meeting with his organisation.

War vets 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 last month they repudiated their long-standing ties with Mugabe when they issued a stinging communiqué in which they derisively described the nonagenarian as a “hard sell” for the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

Tellingly, war veterans’ secretary-general Victor Matemadanda, who was among those arrested in the aftermath of their fallout with Mugabe, also said yesterday that their role was “no longer to sing Zanu PF praises”.

“At the moment we are not thinking of forming a political party. What we are working for is for the attainment of people’s rights. What is important now is not a political party but to push for the rights of the people.

“We must confront the problems that people are faced with. I personally do not think the problems we have need a political party. We must see the challenges that we are faced with as referees.

“You hear people saying pasi nanhingi (down with so and so) but that is like creating a violent society. The slogans we make expose people to violence and must stop. It is not a problem to have differences as people, but unfortunately there is no tolerance in our political parties, with Zanu PF leading the way,” Matemadanda told the Daily News.

This is major change in the thinking of the war veterans, who until now have associated all dissenting voices with anti-Zanu PF and so-called regime change “merchants”.

However, Zanu PF bigwigs have not taken lightly to the war veterans’ decision to end their long relationship with Mugabe and the party, which goes back to the 1970s, when the country waged a brutal bush war against Ian Smith’s minority government.

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 — such as incarcerating dissenters in inhuman dungeons where they were forced to live like caged rats.

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

This week, Zanu PF has been in palpable panic over moves by Mujuru to form a coalition with Tsvangirai, launching a savage propaganda blitzkrieg which included assaulting the political legacy of Mujuru’s late husband, Solomon ‘‘Rex Nhongo’’ Mujuru — who died in a mysterious fire at his Beatrice farmhouse in August 2011.

Poodle State media went into overdrive, blaming the late decorated soldier for the impending coalition, after the two opposition heavyweights sent fresh shivers down the spines of panicking Zanu PF bigwigs at the weekend when they publicly flaunted their readiness to join forces against the ruling party ahead of Zimbabwe’s eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

In a move that political analysts described as “very significant”, Mujuru held hands and also joined Tsvangirai during another massive demonstration in Gweru that was organised by the MDC.

And in a reciprocal development that was also variously described as “historic”, Mujuru — who was hounded out Zanu PF in December 2014 on untested allegations of plotting to oust and assassinate Mugabe — was later joined by the MDC top brass at her own rally in the same city.

Comments (19)

chaikuda kana chokuramba! kana chokusema!!

SaManyika Chaiye - 18 August 2016

Handei tione ! Ma'War Vets' vakazobviswa shanga , zvino vave kuona kuti zuva rinobuda nekupi !

Charakupa - 18 August 2016

Ya!!! Is it just me or is there a very strong whiff of "change of whether" in this country at last? Read the signs gentlemen and gird your loins for a new future.....

TruthSaid - 18 August 2016

Such a wise move by the War Vets which will assist ZANU PF to merely understand that Mugabe who is now 92 yrs and so uncreative, he must resign or continue to derain his legacy the choice is his . Honestly this country must benefit all of us , we all played a role to liberate this country , even babies played a role through their cries experiencing the death of their mums , how many babies cried sitting along their dead mums not evening understanding what was death , and just hoping to see their mums waking up , but that never happened and even today such babies are bitter about it . ZANU PF must stop claiming the status that they liberated the country -no , no the status goes to all of us . Simple Mugabe must start listening , he doesn't own Zim , he is not a king , enough is enough and he must go .

Khalabemgeza - 18 August 2016

Is It true that a face of man was seen in the middle of Victory Falls waters , if that is true , then those who were buried in unmarked mass graves in Zambia are crossing over to question Mugabe's arrogance . Now 36 yrs down on the line Mugabe have failed to respect all the heroes who perished in Mozambigue and Zambia through the bombing of Green leader istead of respecting such people who perished there he resulted more mass graves by the gugurhundi killings , what a so ludicrous situation caused by this old man who believies that he should be the life presiden of Zim , so evil , let those who sacrificed and died for this country rise up from the graves , fight against this ZANU PF regime and earn the really freedom that we desrve .

Khalabemgeza - 18 August 2016

With or without the war vets seems to me that the only thing threatening Mugabe right now is his age and I very much doubt whether any of the current opposition groups are capable of rattling his cage.

White Colonial Boy - 18 August 2016

a non event,nxaa

truth - 18 August 2016

Rational thinking dictates need for balance between strategic thinking and tactical action. I don't seen to get that. To qoute mai Mujuru's words;..inyaya yetumbwanana turi kusvinura nguva dzakasiyana here or its sheer hypocrisy? I am not convinced at all and plz enlighten me. Removing Mugabe and leaving the machinery for dictatorship, brutality and plunder will not change things. Mahiya responses in interview by Violet Gonda are very unconvincing! Maybe am still blinded by brutality I went through, so plz forgive me. I love you all

Save - 18 August 2016

Rational thinking dictates need for balance between strategic thinking and tactical action. I don't seen to get that. To qoute mai Mujuru's words;..inyaya yetumbwanana turi kusvinura nguva dzakasiyana here or its sheer hypocrisy? I am not convinced at all and plz enlighten me. Removing Mugabe and leaving the machinery for dictatorship, brutality and plunder will not change things. Mahiya responses in interview by Violet Gonda are very unconvincing! Maybe am still blinded by brutality I went through, so plz forgive me. I love you all

Save - 18 August 2016

@White Colonial Boy , those people who were bombed and killed by your uncle Green leader in Zambia will rise up from the graves to the occassion . But don't meddle too much with our politics , being Green Leader's nephew in this site , you might be blamed for pushing your own agendas , just wait for us the really citizens to take this country back to your grandfather (Smith)'s days whereby it was a food basket of Africa .

Khalabemgeza - 18 August 2016

Hama dzadiwa ngatizarure meso tione zviri mberi. Nyika yedu irishure munezvakavanda munezvematongerwo enyika, magariro ayo tirikuita,kudzikira kwezvinhu zvose hako. Isu tisu tinozvisunungura nekuzvinyaradza munhamu yevanotuka vamwe sekuti ivo vari pazvigaro zvikuru zvehumambo. Ini ndinoziva kuti hushe madzoro, chingave chigaro chipi zvacho chinotogarwawo nevamwe. Stop it akafarisa zvino avekushaisa murume vake murwiri verusununguko rugare nepamusana pepamuromo . VaTekere vaigara vachitaura vachiti vanamafikezolo kunetsa, Havana nyadzi apo vanosvika vane mandihinini pavanhu. Nyika ndeye munhu vese zvake , chirema , bofu kana iye asiri chirema ndeyake uchida usingadi muridzi vayo chete. Ngatidananei panguvaino yatiri kunetsekana nehondo yehupfumi hwenyika yedu huri kutorwa nemakoronyera ezvematongerwo enyika vachizviona saivo vega munyika.

Gumandafa - 18 August 2016

@Gumandafa -your are one sided , try to be fair and involve us all by kindly using an international language . I wish i can understand your views .

Khalabemgeza - 18 August 2016

Gumandafa will not die until we remove the Zimbabwe of power-plunder-poverty; and replace it with one focused on democracy-devolution-development. Lets crystalise issues carefully and robustly engage tumbwa tusati twaona with scepticism becomes I doubt if some of them are genuine. The power to think left most Zimbabweans; replaced by the power to parrot what Matibili coughs out. I Love you All!

Save - 18 August 2016

Thought PF chased them first.

shamiso karimadora - 18 August 2016

the truth is mugabe is too old and must go we have suffered enough pliz lets all # tajamuka

anti zanu - 18 August 2016

Viola weee????

hunda - 18 August 2016

The guiding principle in the liberation war was the liberation of the entire country from white supremacy and subjugation. Holding different or dissenting political opinion should never have been demonized in the manner it was done after independence. War veterans were cunningly lured into the mad and senseless violence that became synonymous with land redistribution thereby permanently distorting and doing disservice to a noble and dearly held national aspiration. This should never have been allowed to happen. I am grateful that War Veterans have realized the errors of their ways and detached themselves from Mugabe. It is easy to forget that Mugabe was not initially democratically elected by the people but rather spirited to Mozambique to take the reigns of ZANU clandestinely during a period of leadership crisis. This could explain how a seemingly committed revolutionary can make an about turn and go after his own people. Its better late than never for the change of heart by our revered war veterans. They are human and we should applaud them for taking this long overdue stand and ejecting Mugabe thereby choosing to stand with the people for whom they shed their blood in the first place.The people of Zimbabwe will reinstate you to the esteemed status that you acquired through your gallant and heroic sacrifices when the dust settles after this current mayhem. Viva MaComrades Pamberi nekunzwisisa nekushanda nekuita zvinodiwa neruzhinji rwevanhu, that is precisely why the war was prosecuted. For those brutal buffoons in the ZRP, ZNA and other security agencies propping a repressive and people averse regime, your day of reckoning is drawing ever closer. We will bring you before the very same people that you are persecuting to face justice and accountability.

Jaikolu maison - 18 August 2016

I don't like the language Mahiya is using here. "We now allow ..." we were never "your people" Mahiya you don't can't won't allow nothing! I suspect that the turncoats (they are numerous) are running scared. What is different today in RGM's govt that was absent in 1982? Violence was written all over them, arrogance, boastfulness even the level of stupidity. Whilst criticism of the current govt might be in vogue the reasons for the criticism needs to be put under the microscope. It may turn out that there are more RGMs than we can handle!

Sagitarr - 18 August 2016

The war vets have a very big ego 36 years after independence. They must disarm themselves this "self entitlement mantra" to this country. they behave as if they have title deeds to the country which have been in existance and shall continue to do so for generations to come. The painful truth is that there is nothing more to steal and loot from this once thriving economy. Mugabe have been spoiling these vets left right and centre and the economy is now just a carcass left and hunger has struck in. Mugabe 's sweets are finished. War are not reformed at all they need to go through counselling and learn to respect themselves and other citizens. People of this country have suffered at the hands of their greediness. I will bet with my new bond note they will demand their share for fighting mugabe who is finished already just like them.

X-MAN IV - 18 August 2016

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