Mugabe misled: War vets

via Mugabe misled: War vets – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 22, 2016

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe could be left with egg on his face, after it emerged two of his security ministers Ignatius Chombo (Home Affairs) and Sydney Sekeramayi (Defence) had been informed of the abortive war veterans’ meeting in Harare that was violently crushed by police last Thursday.


Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya told NewsDay yesterday that Chombo had been notified of the gathering.

“The minister responsible for police (Chombo) was made aware of the gathering. Our intention was to meet at Zanu PF headquarters, but we were denied access. We are not a political party that requires clearance from police to hold a meeting. It was not a demonstration,” he said.

“But the minister decided to twist things and allow police to harass war veterans across the country because he is aligned to the G40 (Generation 40) faction.
He, as Zanu PF secretary for administration, would not have denied us access to party headquarters if he was not aligned to that group.

“Our Harare provincial chairman, John Guta personally went to see Chombo a day before the scheduled meeting to notify him.”

Insiders also claimed Sekeramayi had been briefed of the gathering shortly after the executive’s meeting on Tuesday.

“As the ZNLWVA resolved to call for a general council, (War Vets minister Christopher) Mutsvangwa, in his address, insisted he would not only notify Mugabe and the ministers, but also the country’s military. If anything, he requested that they hold the gathering in abeyance until Mugabe knew of it,” he said.

Both Chombo and Sekeramayi were not available for comment yesterday, as their mobile phones went unanswered.

In his impromptu State of the Nation Address last Friday, Mugabe claimed neither him nor his security ministers had been made aware of the gathering.

“The ministers I had occasion to talk to, Sekeramayi, (State Security minister Kembo) Mohadi and Chombo, they are all security ministers, also had not heard about this event until it happened. I am patron of the war veterans. I wasn’t informed about it. Let alone even getting to know what the subject was,” he said in a televised speech meant to cool tempers following the violent clashes between war veterans and police.

Mugabe accused Mutsvangwa of subverting procedure in calling for the meeting.

“He (Mutsvangwa) acted in a manner we describe as irresponsible, completely irresponsible, and in a manner which brings the name of the party (Zanu PF) and government into disrepute. It brings it, you see, down in disgrace, in a manner in which it is now blemished, criticised,” he said.

But Mahiya maintained Mutsvangwa had been mandated to call for the meeting by his executive.

“It was not at Mutsvangwa’s meeting, but the executive directed him to call for it,” he said, but refused to comment on whether Sekeramayi had been briefed.

“Our problem is not with the Defence ministry or the secretary for war veterans in the politburo. It is with the police.”