Source: Mugabe threatens second Gukurahundi – NewZimbabwe 09/06/2016
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Thursday boasted about the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres, openly threatening to unleash a second campaign of killings if war veterans press vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa as successor.
The veteran leader was addressing a Zanu PF central committee meeting when he suddenly shocked all and sundry, threatening to crack down on the deviant former liberation fighters the Gukurahandi style.
He brought up the emotive post-independence atrocities while reacting after the ex-fighters declared that Mnangagwa was the only choice to succeed the 92-years-old Zanu PF leader, warning there would be bloodshed if the so-called Crocodile was blocked.
Mugabe appears to back the rival faction G40 faction in the party which bitterly opposes Mnangagwa but has not declared its preference although it has the backing of First Lady Grace Mugabe and co-Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko.
Mugabe said the war veterans should desist from expressing the leadership choices and from airing their grievances from outside the party, adding that “dissident activities were not allowed”.
He said, “Dissident activities cannot be allowed; it ended in December 1987 when Cde Joshua Nkomo and I put our hands together and our hearts together to say never again shall we allow this to happen.”
“The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans was formed to cater for the welfare of our veterans and not to champion the struggle for political change, not to be the boss of the party and never to be the bully of the party, nor the entity to make the choices on who should be and who should not lead; never ever,” thundered Mugabe.
He added, “We the experienced leaders say no to war veterans doing this, it’s not your function, it’s not your business to talk a lot on who shall succeed the President.”
“The dissidents tried it, they were war veterans and you know what happened. Lots of trouble, lots of fighting, lots of suffering of cause to our people, and these dissents activities cannot be allowed.
“Is it the case that we see another rise of dissident activity?”
Mugabe went on: “War veterans must know that it is the politics that leads the gun not vice versa as the war veterans are not bosses of the party.
“War veterans are trained cadres who must be disciplined and know the rules of the party to be followed not to decide to appoint as a successor without elections or the people deciding. This is the way dissidents behave.”
Mugabe’s threats come at a time when his party is threatened with total collapse owing to tensions arising from factional fights.
Last week, war veterans threatened bloodshed if Mnangagwa does not become the next president. Mnangagwa reportedly leads a faction called Team Lacoste which is fighting against the Generation 40 said to be led by First Lady, Grace Mugabe.
In the early 1980s, Mugabe, claiming to be tracking down dissidents, unleashed the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade which killed an estimated 20,000 civilians in the Matebeleland and the Midlands regions.
Research has since found that the brigade deliberately targeted civilians.
Mugabe’s comments will have taken many aback, especially after the veteran leader once called the 1980’ episode a “regrettable moment of madness”.
Gukurahundi, as the campaign came to be known, has since been classified as Genocide by Genocide Watch.