Source: Million-man march useless: War vets – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 11, 2016
THE Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) — for long regarded as President Robert Mugabe’s support pillar — yesterday dismissed the planned million-man march, being organised by the Zanu PF youth league, as insincere, ill-timed and an unwarranted abuse of scarce resources at a time the economy was teetering on the brink of collapse.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya accused the organisers of the march, slated for May 25, of failing to appreciate the real issues affecting the generality of Zimbabweans.
“There is no sincerity in the million-man march. There is no political consciousness. It will not revive industry or bring food on the table. They should, instead, find out from us the formula we used to bring independence. A million-man march, then what?” Mahiya asked rhetorically.
“The march will not stabilise our party’s structures. It is a ploy by the likes of (Zanu PF deputy youth secretary Kudzai) Chipanga and Saviour Kasukuwere (Zanu PF national political commissar) to lull the President into a false sense of security.”
Mahiya added: “That is where we differ. There are war veterans, old men and women sleeping in the same room as their children due to harsh economic conditions, but these people choose to dole out houses to unmarried youths. It does not make sense and just sells out their nefarious and sinister plot.”
Asked if the former freedom fighters would participate if they were invited, Mahiya said the Zanu PF youth league had destroyed any chance of that.
“They have already failed. It is not as automatic as that. Our definition of solidarity is that it is done by a person seeking support or trying to be relevant. We do not need to be relevant because we have already walked from Mozambique, Zambia and other countries. We have done our part. In fact, we are not stakeholders, but stockholders.
It is only stakeholders who are seeking a place in Zanu PF who should be planning a march,” he said, adding the Zanu PF youth league had already shown disdain for the former freedom fighters.
The youth league reportedly supports a Zanu PF faction known as the G40, which is believed to be fronted by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
The G40 faction is reportedly locked in a vicious succession fight with Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the race to succeed 92-year-old Mugabe.
Zanu PF insiders said the proposed march was a subtle campaign to derail Mnangagwa’s ambitions.
But party youth league political commissar Innocent Hamandishe yesterday insisted the march was a show of support for Mugabe and had nothing to do with the raging factional fights.
“That is why it is a youth league programme. We want to show our support to the one who is important and that is the President,” Hamandishe said.
On the issue of invitations, Hamandishe said the march was discussed in the Zanu PF politburo and, thus, invitations had automatically been extended to all party structures.
“The secretary for war veterans (Defence minister) Sydney Sekeramayi sits in the politburo and, hence, they stand invited,” he said.
Chipanga, who has already fallen foul of the former fighters after making disparaging remarks about them, yesterday declined to be drawn into discussing Mahiya’s accusations.
“I do not want to say much about the issue, but we will invite all stakeholders. We will invite war veterans through letters,” he said, refusing to elaborate on whether the league would be doing so through the ZNLWVA or War Veterans ministry.
As part of preparations for the proposed march, the youth league has asked each of the party’s 10 provinces to raise at least $50 000 to sponsor about 100 000 youths with each member asked to pay $25 towards the event.