When servants snub the king

HARARE - From kingmakers to foes perhaps best describes how war veterans have crossed swords with President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party for frankly speaking against the nonagenarian leader’s failed rule.

Since the country got its independence, the war veterans’ narrative was that Mugabe is never wrong, despite several of his glaring failures that have since reduced Zimbabwe to one of the poorest countries in the world.

For years, it has always been the civil society and opposition parties that have been speaking against Mugabe’s rule and unpragmatic populist policies.

Mugabe is the only leader that Zimbabwe has ever known since its freedom from British colonisers 36 years ago, and in all these years, his grip to power has been hinged on the support of the former liberation struggle fighters, who proved to be his reliable all-weather sympathisers.

However, as Mugabe grows older amid speculations about his health, his capacity to hold his party together has also been a tall order.

It is without doubt that despite showering the war veterans with land, their demands are far beyond just sitting on the unproductive land without enough food on the table.

They have obviously realised that there is more to just being given cash hand-outs, which were dished out in the late 90s and land.

They are truly growing impatient with Mugabe after he reneged on some of the agreements that they had during the war.

The failure to observe some of the agreements has widened the rifts within his party, as cadres position themselves to take over from Mugabe, realising his health and age are now a limiting factor to his capabilities.

The same rifts have divided war veterans, with the bigger chunk calling for Mugabe’s resignation.

It is clear that Mugabe is not concerned about any other developments, but would snap with the speed of lightning when anyone tries to take over his position.

He is only concerned about power retention and nothing else.

He has been incensed by the war veterans’ actions, following a controversial communiqué that demanded him to leave office and pave way for his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to the presidency.

To prove that this did not go down well with Mugabe, several of the war veterans that reportedly originated the communiqué were arrested.

The war veterans are still to stand trial for undermining Mugabe’s authority.

Besides these threats, Mugabe also threatened to crush anyone who dared challenge his leadership.

He clearly stated that the war veterans that are calling for his resignation are behaving like dissidents.

He boastfully stated how people of such behaviour were placed in pits, covering their whole bodies in the ground and only leaving their heads during the war of liberation.

The mere arrest and threats to the war veterans showed that they are no longer held in high esteem by the Mugabe regime.

They were once untouchable, following allegations of committing several atrocities in rural areas during election time.

But their direct confrontation with Mugabe changed the narrative, putting them on the firing line. It was unheard of in the past that mere youths would besiege a war veteran’s farm, like what happened with war veterans’ leader Victor Matemadanda recently.

The invasion was only barred by the High Court after legal proceedings were taken.

This shows that war veterans have turned from untouchable to ordinary citizens. From being the kingmakers to villains and enemies of the State, at least according to Mugabe’s understanding.

For Mugabe, it is clearly ill for war veterans to speak against him in such a way that challenges his presidential capabilities.

And for speaking up against him, they turned into sworn enemies, as Mugabe has never accepted his failures that have been stated over and over by the opposition and other pro-democracy individuals.

The war veterans have been raising pertinent issues pertaining to how the government is being run. Among some of the issues they raise is government’s corrupted system.

They clearly stated that when they went to war, it had nothing to do with fighting race but the system. They, however, say the same system that they fought against is still prevailing in an “independent” Zimbabwe.

And above all this is the government’s failure to create employment and improve the people’s lives. People are suffering and many have left the country to seek for greener pastures.

This has made the calls for Mugabe to resign by the war veterans resonate with the general populace’s demands.

Comments (2)

It has always been who gets what, where and when. There is nothing more to loot, steal from this once thriving economy. Its just bones left. Its pure hunger that has struck inside gravy train and losers gets offloaded to keep it going. People should dis-arm themselves this elf entitlement mantra to anything this country has. Mugabe's sweets and Smith's left overs are finished. A new generation has to take over we have been stuck in war jungles for long.

X-MAN IV - 25 September 2016

Whats new in this article Dailynews?

Dakarai - 26 September 2016

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