Developments in the President Robert Mugabe-led Zanu PF party, in which the war of liberation fighters, have for the first time in post-independent Zimbabwe, called on Mugabe to relinquish power are not only refreshing, but are a welcome development that should be embraced by all peace-loving Zimbabweans.
Source: A salute to Mutsvangwa and his storm troopers – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 3, 2017
OPINION: Maxwell Zimuto
Indeed, there is no doubt whatsoever that Mugabe has outlived his welcome as head of State of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the sooner he departs the better, not only for himself, but for the nation as well.
During the 36 years that Zanu PF has been in power under his stewardship, the war veterans have been his special sword, reserved for crucial battles, particularly against formidable opponents.
They have not disappointed. The former fighters have executed assigned tasks with utmost precision, total commitment and unquestioned loyalty to both Mugabe and Zanu PF.
But today, in Zanu PF, which they created and has been the cradle upon which their political careers are underpinned, they are looked upon with scorn, disdain and trepidation by upstarts in the former liberation movement.
As a consequence, this has exposed the much-cherished liberation legacy to the vagaries and caprices of strangers and infiltrators, whose idle minds have taken the once mighty Zanu PF, together with its leader, hostage.
Since the expulsion from Zanu PF of Christopher Mutsvangwa, the war veterans chairperson and his key lieutenants — Douglas Mahiya, Victor Matemadanda and others — several clandestine and devious efforts have been made through the evil hand of political turncoats, to supplant the elected war veterans’ leadership with a surrogate and stooge outfit that would unflinchingly sing “Mugabe only”, even when it is evident that the national task at hand is now beyond his capacity to manage as head of State.
Of course, the machinations have failed and instead, the war veterans have stood with their leader, Mutsvangwa and his executive, much to the chagrin of Mugabe and those who are urging him to stay on.
I salute Mutsvangwa and his storm troopers for standing firm even under immense adversity.
I also wish to congratulate them for boldly speaking out against Mugabe’s continued stay in power, particularly at this juncture when it is clear that the President is the only remaining impediment to all efforts to move this nation forward.
Mugabe’s continued clinging onto power is no longer a concern for Zanu PF alone, but a national matter, which must be looked at with national eyes.
Consequently, the solution to deal with this national crisis must be sought from a collective standpoint.
Surely, is it not a shame that a nonagenarian should continue to represent this nation, both at regional and international level when the country has so many capable and competent leaders?
No, this man must leave the stage now. He is now a disgrace to the nation.
I must acknowledge misgivings expressed by some, who have angrily dismissed the newly-found voice of the war veterans against Mugabe as empty rants by a disgruntled lot, bitter at its ejection from the Zanu PF grave train.
They further point out that the same war veterans were responsible for various human rights abuses in the country against innocent Zimbabweans, at the behest of Mugabe and Zanu PF.
While this might be true, I humbly take it that the realisation by war veterans, through public acknowledgements and pronouncements, that they are a national institution, which is supposed to serve national not sectional or partisan interests, is a sincere and commendable gesture, for which they deserve a pat on the back.
Yes, war veterans might have taken too long to realise that they were not serving national but Zanu PF interests.
This, nonetheless, should not stop the generality of Zimbabweans from embracing them, particularly where they exhibit an unparalleled level of maturity in upholding and enhancing national value systems.
If any significant meaning is to be derived from the adage that says; better late than never, then it must be in the above analogy.
Furthermore, Paul, one of the most respected apostles of the Biblical times, who was a known persecutor of the believers, saw light on his way to Damascus to torment believers and this particular incident changed his entire life so much that from then on, he became a true and reliable messenger of God.
We should not despair. Let us give the war veterans a chance.
Maxwell Zimuto writes in his personal capacity