War vets crank up heat on Mugabe

HARARE - Disgruntled war veterans continue to crank up the heat on President Robert Mugabe and his warring ruling Zanu PF, claiming yesterday that they had endured unspeakable abuse at the hands of the increasingly frail nonagenarian since the country’s independence from Britain in April 1980.

Speaking to the Daily News on Sunday yesterday, the forthright spokesperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), Douglas Mahiya, said Mugabe had pretended to love them all these years only to ensure that he remained in power.
“They (Mugabe and Zanu PF) have for the past 36 years taken advantage of the war veterans to push their narrow political and economic agendas.

“War veterans were abused by people who needed political power and after achieving what they wanted, they dumped them and we are saying that is not right. They used us and we are now useless to them.
“When we joined the liberation struggle, we were fighting for the economic and political emancipation of the people of Zimbabwe, not for certain individuals to accumulate wealth through corruption,” Mahiya said.

He added that Zanu PF had in fact allegedly introduced some policies “to make sure” that war veterans remained poor, so that they became politically weak.
“When you are poor you have no power to oppose certain things. They want us to continue being poor so that they continue dangling little carrots so that we continue to dance to their tunes that are against revolutionary principles. However, we are now doing things our own way,” he said.

The former freedom fighters have over the past two years been caught in the middle of Zanu PF’s seemingly unstoppable tribal, factional and succession wars, in which they have thrown their weight behind Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe.
This saw their chairman Chris Mutsvangwa being fired from both Cabinet and Zanu PF earlier this year, while many of their other top leaders have also been banished from the ruling party, in addition to being hauled before the courts.

A meeting in April to try and mend relations between the war vets and Mugabe failed to resolve the stalemate, with the former freedom fighters setting difficult conditions for the nonagenarian, including that he ditches alleged Generation 40 (G40) kingpins such as Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and the ruling party’s national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.
Mahiya made it clear yesterday that further efforts by Zanu PF to mend fences with them were unlikely to yield anything as they were now determined to work for the people of Zimbabwe and not be used by the ruling party ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

“They cannot try to unite with us when they are not united among themselves. Starting from the ministry (of War Veterans) to the party, they are not united.  You cannot also unite people who are hungry and poor like us, as a hungry man is an angry man.
“We are definitely not going to be used again in 2018. We are no longer going to push agendas of a certain political party. As we have already said, our job is to be the referees, and we don’t belong to a political party any more,” he thundered.

According to Mahiya, the War Veterans ministry which is headed by Tshinga Dube must be disbanded because it is allegedly also fanning factionalism and fronting the interests of the G40.
“They have created the ministry to serve the interests of certain individuals. It is a tool which was put up to make us poor. We don’t need that ministry as since its inception our problems have escalated. The ministry must go so that all those salaries are channelled towards paying our children’s fees,” he said.

Mahiya also took yet another swipe at Kasukuwere and Moyo, saying they were “small boys” in Zanu PF politics.
“We cannot be rendered irrelevant by people who were six years old at independence and manoeuvred their way through to become national political commissar, or war deserters. They must just shut up. This G40 faction is destroying the party and the country,” he said.

Comments (6)

Mr Editor,until its proven that Cde Mahiya and his other expelled from ZANU PF allies ,have the majority support of the war vets, his utterances cannot be viewed to be representing war vets.

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 18 December 2016

Mr Mahiya is the spokesperson of ZNLWA association and i don't think he was expelled from that organisation.His comments represents the views of the association!

livewire - 18 December 2016

The war vets are not united on what Mahiya says day in day out. He will find ZANU PF moving on and win in 2018,without Cde Mayiya`s blessing or vote. The 2018 elections will be fought by voting not by military history.

Cde Njelele - 18 December 2016

@Cde Njelele , i fully agree with you , this Mahiya is only supporting Mnangagwa's faction something which will never dislogue ZANU PF from power . What did his group do about the Masvingo ZANU PF conference which went through successfully ? We thought the conference was going to be a nasty one but that never happened and it is a huge warning to the opposition parties that ZANU PF is still united and they have got a better chance of winning 2018 elections . Where is the coalition of the opposition parties ? If Mahiya and his group are fed up about ZANU PF why can't they join opposition parties and support the planned grand coalition ? This Mahiya is having his own agenda , keeps on wasting time and supporting a more than useless Mnangagwa who is another devil , his hands still bleeding the blooooooods of more than 20 000 innocent people who were killed during the gugurahundu juncture through his evil instructions.

Khalabemgeza - 19 December 2016

The Masvingo conference was a christmas party,end of yr party.Viola said it clearly that nothing will come out of Masvingo besides meeting leaders and ministers ,dinning and drinking.

blaz - 19 December 2016

There voices will never turn around the economy,change reforms to make the ground even and build a good nation but all these guys are a burden to the national budget they must all take a rest and give new blood a chance to rule i regardless of political affiliation,when you say you went to war liberate the masses it means any Zimbabwean can rule,let's not blind fold the masses when you are busy looting day n night

Enos Chikukwa - 21 December 2016

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.