Source: Mugabe under massive attack – DailyNews Live January 10, 2017
Mugove Tafirenyika, Blessings Mashaya and Tendai Kamhungira
HARARE – As the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections get closer,
life is getting harder for President Robert Mugabe and his warring Zanu
PF, as angry war veterans and the country’s re-energised opposition keep
battering them on all fronts.
This became even clearer yesterday when the disgruntled former freedom
fighters escalated their war against Mugabe, vowing to take the
nonagenarian and the bitterly-divided ruling party to court for defying a
court order which barred them from appointing a new Zimbabwe National
Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) executive.
On the other hand, the looming prospects of opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai and former Vice President Joice Mujuru working together ahead
of 2018 is spooking Zanu PF to no end, with the former liberation movement
now fighting tooth and nail to “kill” the mooted pact.
The daring move by the disaffected war veterans to take Zanu PF to court
comes after it emerged that the troubled ruling party had clandestinely
appointed a new ZNLWVA executive late last year which was invited to
attend the party’s annual conference which was held in Masvingo in
Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, fearless ZNLWVA spokesperson,
Douglas Mahiya, promised that war veterans would not fold their hands
while Zanu PF “worked to engineer” more divisions among ex-combatants.
“As we have always said, we were given the mandate to lead the war
veterans by legitimate war veterans. We are not going to watch what is
happening quietly. Among other things, we are going to approach the courts
soon, definitely,” he warned.
When the ZNLWVA approached the courts in a similar case early last year,
Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene and her team were
barred from masquerading as either the interim or substantive leaders of
the former freedom fighters.
High Court Judge, Justice Happias Zhou, also interdicted Chimene from
issuing any press statements on behalf of the ZNLWVA and its leadership.
However, Mugabe and Zanu PF allowed Chimene to represent war veterans at
party gatherings even after that ruling, something that was viewed as a
flagrant disregard of the courts and an endorsement of the phantom Chimene
ZNLWVA secretary-general Victor Matemadanda also weighed in on the matter
yesterday accusing Mugabe of “not respecting the rule of law”.
“Zimbabwe is a constitutional State and it’s so sad that the ruling party
is failing to obey its own and the country’s Constitution, which is the
supreme law of the land.
“We now have a constitutional crisis because the ruling party doesn’t
believe in the rule of law. Yet, at his swearing-in ceremony, Mugabe
promised to uphold the Constitution although he is now worryingly failing
to do what he promised,” he said.
Matemadanda added that some top Zanu PF officials were also “bizarrely
happy” to see ex-combatants divided.
“Zanu PF is neglecting war veterans. They managed to bribe some war
veterans so that they would attend the Zanu PF conference.
“But look at the rest of our colleagues, they are struggling to get food
and don’t have money to pay school fees for their kids. We have Cde Chinx
(Dickson Chingaira) who is not feeling well, but the party is not helping
him, which is so sad.
“They want to divided us so that we become weaker, but we are saying to
them that we know every trick they want to use to destroy us and this
won’t work,” he thundered.
The former freedom fighters have over the past two years been caught in
the middle of Zanu PF’s seemingly unstoppable tribal, factional and
succession wars, in which they have thrown their weight behind Vice
President Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe.
This saw their chairman Chris Mutsvangwa being fired from both the Cabinet
and Zanu PF last year, while many of their other top leaders have also
been banished from the ruling party, in addition to being hauled before
A meeting last April to try and mend relations between the war vets and
Mugabe failed to resolve the stalemate, with the former freedom fighters
setting difficult conditions for the nonagenarian, including that he
ditches alleged Generation 40 (G40) kingpins such as Higher Education
minister Jonathan Moyo and the ruling party’s national political commissar
Zanu PF is facing even more heat on the opposition front, as Mujuru and
Tsvangirai work fervently behind the scenes to form a coalition alliance
ahead of the 2018 national polls.
Mujuru who now leads the Zimbabwe People First (ZPF), is even trying to
enlist Tsvangirai’s help as her party bids to wrest control of the Bikita
West parliamentary seat which fell vacant after Munyaradzi Kereke was
incarcerated for 14 years for the rape of a minor last year.
And after ZPF announced that Mujuru planned to hold a joint rally with
Tsvangirai in the constituency, to drum up support for their candidate,
Kudakwashe Gopo, both Zanu PF apparatchiks and State media have gone into
overdrive trying to portray the scheduled mega rally as causing divisions
in both the MDC and ZPF.
But ZPF elder, Rugare Gumbo told the Daily News yesterday that there was
no need for Zanu PF to speculate on the two parties’ planned coalition as
this was now almost finalised.
“They know that only those that are mad will vote for them under the
circumstances and when it comes to Bikita West, we are already working
with the MDC and other parties to ensure that Zanu PF loses.
“So, we are not worried about what they say at all. We know Zanu PF is
scared of our unity and our working together because they know this is the
beginning of their end as they have nothing to offer to Zimbabweans who
know that it is Mugabe who authored their problems.
“Zanu PF must better get ready to face the coalition because we are not
going back and we will announce it to the people when the time is ready,”
Gumbo who, together with Mujuru and others were sacked from Zanu PF in
2014 on untested charges of attempting to topple and assassinate Mugabe,
Meanwhile, analysts have also said the Bikita West star rally evokes bad
memories for Zanu PF which lost the Norton by-election late last year to
its former chairman for Mashonaland West, Temba Mliswa, who had enlisted
the services of the MDC and war veterans, leading to the former liberation
movement suffering an embarrassing defeat.
The defeat further strained relations within the warring ruling party
which is feuding to determine Mugabe’s succession, where the G40 faction
is rabidly opposed to Mnangagwa ascending to the throne.
On its part, the MDC said yesterday that Zanu PF had “every reason to fear
a tag team of Mujuru and Tsvangirai”, as it was becoming increasingly
clear that Mugabe and his party “would never win a free and fair
“Zanu PF is damaged goods. They are running scared because of the real
possibility that the regime will be facing a united opposition in the 2018
“In fact, let me categorically and emphatically state here and now that
Zanu PF will receive an unprecedented and humiliating electoral
annihilation in 2018.
“The MDC will definitely form the next government after the forthcoming
elections. There’s absolutely no doubt about that,” MDC spokesperson,
Obert Gutu, told the Daily News.
Political analysts said yesterday that it was clear that Zanu PF feared
the prospects of seeing Tsvangirai and Mujuru working together.
“Zanu PF has every reason to be worried of the success of a coalition
between Mujuru and Tsvangirai. These two are the real deal as far as
challenging Zanu PF is concerned.
“Mujuru brings in the liberation credentials that Tsvangirai needs for the
smooth transfer of power. Zanu PF knows very well that Tsvangirai has been
winning but was denied political power through `positive rigging’. This
was because he was regarded as a traitor,” analyst Shakespeare Hamauswa
Other analysts have repeatedly said a united opposition fighting with one
purpose can finally bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule, especially at a
time that the increasingly frail nonagenarian is fighting to keep his
warring Zanu PF united.
Mujuru also said late last year that the country’s mooted grand coalition
– which is set to be in place this year – would bring to an end Mugabe and
Zanu PF’s long rule.