War vets in dramatic U-turn

HARARE - War veterans aligned to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday made a dramatic U-turn, insisting that they remain members of the ruling Zanu PF party.

Following the expulsion of Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa and some members of his executive from Zanu PF last year, the war veterans cut ties with the ruling party, demanding that Mnangagwa should succeed President Robert Mugabe.

After the rift, the former freedom fighters vowed never to be involved in partisan politics again.

In July last year, war veterans severed their ties with soon-to-be 93 years old Mugabe after they issued a damning communiqué which marked the end of a political relationship that dates back to 1975 when freedom fighters catapulted the 92-year-old to the leadership of the ruling party.

The ex-combatants declared that going forward, they will instead act as umpires on the country’s political battleground that has over the years been characterised by violence against opposition party supporters, to ensure a level playing field.

But addressing journalists in the capital yesterday, ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya sang from a completely different hymn book, vowing to bounce back in the ruling party fold.

“We are not going anywhere and (Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour) Kasukuwere must know that one day, and the writing is on the wall already, he will be in my current position as well, expelled,” Mahiya said.

“Nobody will ever own Zanu PF  but we think that the forthcoming restructuring exercise is meant to put G40  (Generation 40, a faction opposed to Mnangagwa taking over from Mugabe) in the driving seat by ensuring that all war veterans have been weeded out  and their legacy thrown into the dustbin of history but we will not rest.”

Mahiya said the G40 camp — whose key members are believed to be Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Kasukuwere — was a constant thorn in their flesh as it kept them guessing as to who their preferred candidate to succeed the nonagenarian is.

“What power do these people need and for or whom? What does he (Moyo) want to use it for? That is why the G40 has given us so much trouble in this country? Whose power is Jonathan trying to get? He has attacked war veterans left, right and centre but tell him that we are not going to hell but to heaven because we have done work for the people,” Mahiya said.

“We cannot be told to leave that party by people who are latecomers to the party. We will not allow that to happen because we are a trained political force…  Anyone else who wants to be the party president should join the queue. It’s okay to join our party but please do not jump the queue,” he said.

Declaring 2017 as “the year of engagement”, the war veterans once gain challenged Moyo to a public debate on national television to discuss Mugabe’s succession and other national issues.

“We have heard Mutsvangwa and Moyo throwing stones at each other in the media and today we want to call both of them to a public debate to discuss these issues so that we put to rest the whole succession debate. We have called this year a year of engagement where brothers are able to sit down and talk and this is want we want Jonathan who wants power for unknown people to do with Mutsvangwa”.

Towards the end of last year, Mugabe made frantic efforts to lure back war veterans in the wake of their stunning fallout.

It, however, appeared at the time as if the efforts would hit the skids after the ex-combatants warned they would only work with the nonagenarian again if he discards the G40 group, which they accuse of destabilising Zanu PF.

In a recent interview with the Daily News, Mahiya said the ex-combatants had no grudge with Mugabe and were prepared to normalise relations as long as he dumped G40.

“We were not expelled from Zanu PF by Mugabe, but were expelled by (Saviour) Kasukuwere and the G40. As long as those people are there, it’s no longer Zanu PF but it’s called G40 Zanu PF,” Mahiya said.

Comments (15)

I as a born free now seriously doubt there was ever a war of liberation fought in this country, my reasons are: 1) The so called war vets are a group of cowards who were dispersed by a few canisters of teargas, War vets my foot! 2) There is a lot of versions about the true heroes of the war, e.g. The Mai Mujuru helicopter story which is true when she's in ZANU PF, and became false once she left, same as Ndabaningi, Tekere to name just a few. 3) We are not liberated from oppression. 4) The guys at heroes acre that I got to know about (the Nyagumbos, Kangais, Chikoores, etc) were looters. 5) The "war vets" numbers keep increasing, and they behave like the nation owes them our lives and even requested 5% of mines at one time. Were they hired to fight or did they volunteer? 6) The wealth is still in the hands of a few, albeit of a different race. 7) There is still repressive laws like the POSA, and lastly 8) Human rights abuses by the state on its own citizens still rife if not worse now. Maybe we are still a colony, of ZANU PF this time.

Guramutunhu - 17 January 2017

While it is true that the war of liberation did indeed happen and a lot of people died including many civilians by the way, @Guramatunhu, I agree with you on all you r other points. War veterans can not and should not be holding this country at ransom. That is why we are where we are today. It all started with Chenjerai Hunzvi and his kind (1998), then came Chinos (2001) and now everyone else... Indeed they say heros are dead and cowards are alive to tell a very doctored version of the war of liberation. In many countries, e.g. USA many veterans of war are simple and law abiding citizens who just go about their business. I have marveled how we see war vets who are 50 years old. The war ended in 1979. if you do a little math, it will show that such an individual would have had to be 12 years old at independence.. how old were these people when they went to war?

gudo - 17 January 2017

Thats the game comrades.Go back.Force in bcoz yu were forced out.Stop continuosly defending yoselves under attack.Posibility of victory is in attack.Zanu is yours.Yu fought for it.Some of yo comrades died for it.Was it in vain.Stop crying n strategise as men.Go for it.

viola gwena - 17 January 2017

Mutsvangwa so far Moyo has beaten yu twice.Dont bother on a debate.First get yu warvets back into Zanu structures.If yu do that th score is level.Yu were biten twice by the same snake,in same house.Dont ask for debates yu know yu already lost.Moyo kicked yu out of zanu.He scored big.He locked the gate looking at yu straight faced.

viola gwena - 17 January 2017

Harping about supporting Ngwena when yu know yo vote is zero in zanu ,is barki g at a flying bird.Yu know it.If yu are men of honour and of stenner stuff,go back into zanu and face g40 eyeball to eyeball,dont blink.

viola gwena - 17 January 2017

@viola gwena you are sick and your illness is called Constipation. Go and get sadza rezviyo.. you need to go to the toilet.. you are just a terrible annoyance with your wise ass commentry. I am sick of your defense of Ngwena.. You are free allowed and free to be an idiot, as you are entitled to your opinion but you certainly are not entitled to your own facts.. you can just create shit and make it true. This is why Zimbabwe is rotting because fools and morons like you and your kind spew nonsense many times and start to believe.

gudo - 17 January 2017

Are you disappointed seen many healers and no change here is your chance to this short stick which make you get money and luck every corner of the world call now +27733587735

Aladdin - 18 January 2017

A lie-war vets are not in dramatic u-turn,they always professed ,are a zanu pf Mnangagwa faction,though officially expelled,&opposed to Mugabe's g40 faction.Reporter Mugove Tafirenyika seems to lie,however the war vets declared their membership are free to support n party of choice including the opposition without n problem in the rank-file of their organisation as in a democracy.The war vet leadership has no right to drag all its membership to support n single party as they used previously for zanu pf-thus refusal to be used in N partisan politics but individual can have their affiliationS

addmore gudo - 18 January 2017

The so called war vets are the most confused and clueless bunch of attention seekers.Face it, you are no longer relevant your time is long past!!

Jonso - 18 January 2017

Mobsterism has never been my kinda game. War vets what the heck do you want? You say you fought for freedom and yet your party does everything in its power to deny the rural voters freedom of choice. What kind of freedom is that? Muri mboko.

Sagitarr - 18 January 2017

Viola i think what yu say has been proven right.The warvets seem to be listening to you.Yu told them 3 days ago to rejoin and thats what they are doing.Are you Charamba Tete.So tell us what your Ngwena will bring in new .Since you love this man.I neva took him seriously untill You started talking about him.What can he do different from Mugabe tete.We youngsters need to know.We have heard Mr Save since 2000, to this day nothing.Now we have Mai Mujuru and you saying Ngwena.

tendai - 18 January 2017

Gudo your comments are now sickening.Try to advance your party without insults.If you are MDC you are doing us a down.Reason with tete on points she raised .whats that got to do with constipation.Idiot.

tendai - 18 January 2017

Amen,tendai.This baboon now comments on everything displaying its shallow mind.

luke - 18 January 2017

I have a problem with the definition of war veteran that is used in Zimbabwe. Lets look at the simplest definition from Wikipedia: A veteran is a person who has had a long service or experience in a particular occupation of field. Now, lets look at the Zimbabwean situation. There are 3 kinds of people who were involved in the war of liberation...1) There are those who joined the war in it's early days say between 1967 and 1972. These people generally saw the majority of the war. 2) there are those who joined the war in 1979. These people hardly saw any battle. 3) There are those who were trained and never sent to onto the battle front. This last group is similar to South Africa's Mukondowesizwe veterans. They didn't fight any way. And of course there are the Mujiba's and Chimbwidos and the rural folk who supported the guerillas with food and clothes. Now, if we take a closer look at these 3 distinct groups of people and having regard for the definition of a veteran, can we still classify all of them as war veterans? I strongly don't think so. @gudo mentioned and important point that some of these war veterans are in their 40's (Jabulani Sibanda immediately comes to mind) and some are in their early 50's. It's a pity that even though Zimbabweans like to walk around telling people that they are so educated, we still can't do the simple things like data cleaning to figure out the true and the fake war veterans. This country will be backward for another 68 years.

ISO Patriot - 18 January 2017

How do we define and characterise leadership in the African and modern geopolitical context. The reason why USA politics today is open context at party and national level is rid itself of characters that can't put forward national economic agendas that don't resonate with global political, economic and social dynamics. Do we know what we want from our leaders; what qualities, attributes and affirmations must we put on the scale. A bit of reflection and serious introspection is needed. AM DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED IN U GUYS BUT STILL LOVE U ALL. Soko risina musoro! Lets think strategically with no self interest!

Save - 18 January 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.