Vets rave up the heat on Mugabe

Source: Vets rave up the heat on Mugabe – DailyNews Live 04 January 2017

Tendai Kamhungira and Mugove Tafirenyika

HARARE – Clearly emboldened by the apparent collapse of the centre in
President Robert Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF, angry war veterans are piling
on the pressure on the increasingly frail nonagenarian, with their leaders
now sensationally describing the 92-year-old as the “enemy of the people”.

This comes as the disaffected war veterans, who have been feuding with
Mugabe since the parties’ highly publicised fallout last year, have
surprisingly thrown their weight behind the quest by opposition parties to
establish a grand coalition – to turf the nonagenarian out of power –
ahead of next year’s eagerly-anticipated national elections.

At the same time, the disgruntled former freedom fighters have also
reiterated their strong belief that Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is
the only senior Zanu PF official worthy of succeeding Mugabe, as the
ruling party’s deadly tribal, factional and succession wars continue to
escalate.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Zimbabwe National Liberation War
Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) national political commissar Francis Nhando
said Mugabe was “guilty” of allowing his lieutenants and powerful First
Lady Grace Mugabe to challenge his two deputies – Mnangagwa and
Phelekezela Mphoko – to the detriment of Zanu PF and the country.

“When you see the president protecting corrupt officials in the G40 (Zanu
PF’s Generation 40 faction), it makes him the enemy of the people. They
abuse their offices pursuing activities that border on sabotage, which has
led Zimbabweans to frown upon the party.

“In reality, Mugabe is in jail and needs deliverance through being advised
to leave power now and rest. State House has been infiltrated, especially
when you consider that it is at State House that a Zanu PF women’s league
secretary who claims to be a senior to the vice presidents resides,” he
said.

Mugabe and the seriously unhappy former freedom fighters have been
exchanging brickbats since their stunning fallout in July last year, when
the ex-combatants issued a damning communique to end their decades-long
relationship with the increasingly frail nonagenarian, dating back to the
days of the country’s liberation struggle in the 1970s.

This week, the war veterans also threw their weight behind the quest by
opposition parties to establish a grand coalition ahead of next year’s
eagerly-awaited national polls.

ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said they supported the formation of
the mooted coalition alliance because they were of the view that this
would work in the interest of long-suffering Zimbabweans.

“Our message for 2018 is that people must be free to choose anyone they
want, who they think is a good leader. That’s, after all, what we fought
for.

“As long as the coalition is going to represent the suffering masses of
Zimbabwe, we are going to support it. But what we don’t need are people
who create a special class so that they will enjoy life while people are
suffering.

“Zanu PF has created a bourgeois class which is enjoying life while people
are struggling to get food and that is not good for our country. As you
know, all our people suffered to liberate this country,” Mahiya said
earlier in the week.

Addressing the media in Harare late last year, forthright former Cabinet
minister and ZNLWVA chairperson, Christopher Mutsvangwa, also said Mugabe
owed ex-combatants big time as they were the ones who had made him
president, not Zanu PF.

“It was us who sat and made sure that Mugabe became the leader when the
need to change leadership arose. We are the ones who sold his name to the
people. It is not from the founding fathers (that this happened).

“We sold his and (the late vice president) Joshua Nkomo’s name to every
village. It is the liberation army that made the leadership of Zimbabwe,
not the other way round. He (Mugabe) is a beneficiary of the decisions we
made when we deposed (Zanu founder Ndabaningi) Sithole,” he said.

“We will never fear anything in this country because the most fearful
thing which existed was called Ian Smith and we defeated him. After Ian
Smith, we don’t fear anything,” the former War Veterans minister thundered
defiantly.

Speaking before that, Mutsvangwa also chided Mugabe’s administration while
addressing youths on lessons from the liberation struggle.

“Anybody who is not for progress is your enemy because he (Mugabe) is
failing this economy to deliver its capacity to make it the most
prosperous country in Africa,” he said.

In serving their divorce papers on Mugabe last July, the war veterans also
said Mugabe’s continued stay in power was now a stumbling block to the
country’s development, adding almost churlishly that the nonagenarian
would be “a hard-sell” if he ever contemplated contesting the 2018 polls.

Mugabe responded by warning the war veterans that they would be dealt with
severely, including through the use of extra-judicial suppression methods
that his former liberation movement incorporated during the country’s
independence war – such as incarcerating dissenters in inhuman dungeons
where they were forced to live like caged rats.

After this, police duly launched a savage crackdown against the war vets
leadership and arrested five officials, including ZNLWVA secretary-general
Victor Matemadanda, Mahiya and Nhando, who were recently set free by the
courts.

Over the years, war veterans have served as Mugabe and Zanu PF’s political
power dynamos, playing particularly significant roles to keep the
nonagenarian on the throne in the hotly disputed 2000 and 2008 national
elections which were both marred by serious violence and the murder of
hundreds of opposition supporters.

Analysts have also predicted that Mugabe will not win the 2018 polls
without the support of the war veterans, while on their part the
ex-combatants have vowed that they will vote for an opposition candidate
if the nonagenarian stands in those elections.

Mugabe – the only leader Zimbabweans have known since the country gained
independence from Britain in 1980 – is facing the biggest challenge to his
36-year rule.

His government is struggling to pay civil servants, amid a deepening
economic crisis which includes falling revenues and horrendous job losses
– with public sector salary dates now as elastic and as unpredictable as
the discarded Zimbabwe dollar.

As it is, many civil servants and hard-pressed State pensioners will only
be paid their December 2016 salaries this month.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 5 years ago

    Treacherous double-talkers, the war vets, and to be trusted with nothing except their own selfish interests – like Zanu PF.

  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 5 years ago

    There is an Agenda aloft . I wonder what it is ?

  • comment-avatar

    The war vets are doing a wonderful job ever since they demanded a pay out. Mugabe has passed the message on to Patrick Anthony Chinamasa – and Gideon Gonzo’s (Doctor mind you) printing press is being warmed up as we speak. Never fear – the printing press is here with Bob and Gonzo. Never fear – Scoonsie will start to faithfully enunciate Zanu fiscal policy and become a born again Casino Economist with Gonzo. Watch this space!

  • comment-avatar
    Nhamodzenyika 5 years ago

    Nyoni why wander, the Agenda is as clear and plain as DAY LIGHT!!!!!! Mugabe MUST GO!!!!!! PERIOD!!! Nyoni when did you become deaf and blind haaaah!!!