Police clear war vets indaba

HARARE - Police have cleared war veterans’ Friday indaba in Harare called to review the country’s deepening political, economic and social crisis.

War collaborators and ex-detainees countrywide are expected to be part of the engagement, but their patron, President Robert Mugabe, is not invited.

The former liberation war fighters discarded the embattled and increasingly frail nonagenarian, who recently turned 93, as patron of their association in last November.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya told the Daily News yesterday that while “the police wrote to us today (yesterday) acknowledging . . . they have received our letter, they however, asked us to bring names of the conveners of the meeting”.

“We are going to submit the names of conveners; our conveners are the leaders of war the veterans association,” he said.

“This is an important meeting to us because we want to discuss why we are now regarded as useless people in Zanu PF politics. No one can tell us about Zanu PF, we sacrificed for this party but some people like (Zanu PF political commissar Saviour) Kasukuwere are destroying our party.”

This comes as hundreds of war veterans were violently dispersed by the police after they gathered in Harare for an indaba to discuss Zanu PF factional fights last year.

The relationship between Mugabe and the war veterans, dating back to October 1975 when they catapulted him to power through the famous Mgagao Declaration, seems to have irretrievably broken down.

The Mgagao Declaration resulted in Mugabe taking over power of Zanu after the removal of Ndabaningi Sithole and has remained in power until today.

According to Mahiya, they were inviting all war veterans, including opposition National People’s Party (NPP) president Joice Mujuru and ZPF leaders Didymus  Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo.

“This meeting is not a political party meeting, we are looking forward to have all war veterans gathering for the purpose of reviewing the country’s political, economic and social progress since independence from Britain in 1980,” he said.

Mahiya said: “This is a meeting of introspection on our side, we want to look at our self and say are we the ones who are wrong or there are some people who are not respecting the principles of the liberation struggle.

“We held an indaba last year but nothing has been done for the war veterans, we requested for various things but it seems they don’t want to address our plight as the war veterans.

“For the issue of succession, there is someone capable to lead the country from 13 million Zimbabweans,” Mahiya said.

Christopher Mutsvangwa and his executive, who have been clear that they want Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to take over, are mobilising all ex-combatants who have either been hounded out of Zanu PF or are still in but are disgruntled with the factional fights consuming the ruling party.

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