Source: War collaborators dump Mugabe – DailyNews Live 12 January 2017
HARARE – War collaborators have, in a development similar to the fallout
between war veterans and President Robert Mugabe, announced they will not
campaign for the increasingly frail nonagenarian in the
eagerly-anticipated 2018 national polls.
This comes as angry war veterans and re-energised opposition are battering
Mugabe and his bitterly-divided Zanu PF, on all fronts.
Mugabe, who turns 93 next month, had a stunning fallout with war veterans
mid last year and has been despairingly trying to heal the rift which
analysts say if not resolved, could lead to the end of his long rule in
the looming elections.
Yesterday, Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators Association (Ziliwaco)’s
Manicaland chairperson Angeline Muponda, said Zanu PF had used and abused
them and they have now resolved to withdraw their support – a move that
insiders in the former liberation movement described as yet another slap
in the face for the nonagenarian by the disaffected liberation stalwarts.
“Zanu PF doesn’t like us as war collaborators. What they want is to use us
during elections and we are saying to them this time we are not going to
be used again,” Muponda told the Daily News.
“In 2018, we are not going to campaign for Zanu PF. They took all the land
and shared among themselves but we helped them during the land reform. We
mobilised people to disperse white farmers, but at the end of the day, all
the farms were taken by Zanu PF top officials.
“We also think that the president has neglected us since 1980. He was in
charge but he never did anything to improve the welfare of war
collaborators. We all suffered to liberate this country, so we must be
treated equally,” added Muponda.
War veterans and collaborators, have over the years 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.
The ex-combatants, since serving divorce papers on their former patron in
mid July last year, have been feuding with Mugabe and his warring Zanu PF.
Attempts to heal the widening rift have so far failed to yield positive
results as the disgruntled vets’ demand that Mugabe jettisons a faction of
young Turks opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mooted
presidential ambitions – the Generation 40 (G40) group – have been ignored
by the nonagenarian.
Ziliwaco whose chairperson and an alleged Mnangagwa ally, Pupurai
Togarepi, was axed as the Zanu PF youth league boss last year by Mugabe,
was not reachable for comment.
But Muponda said they had had enough of being “used” by Mugabe and his
party whenever elections were approaching.
“In 2008, they mobilised us to set up various bases to campaign for them
in different parts of the country. We were forced to work against our own
brothers and sisters but after that, they didn’t do anything to appreciate
our efforts,” thundered Muponda.
“We know that towards elections, they will try to persuade us again so
that they will use us but we now know the truth. We thought we were
building our party without knowing that we are being used for the benefit
of certain individuals.
“Since 1980, they never attempted to address our concerns as war
collaborators. The meeting which was held last year by the president was
meaningless and useless, it never addressed our problems.
“We are now growing older but we have nothing to show to our kids, we are
struggling to feed our families and pay school fees for our children. We
have suffered enough; we want to tell Zanu PF that we don’t eat slogans,”
Mugabe in power for 36 years and the only leader Zimbabwe has had since
the country gained independence from Britain in 1980 – is facing the
biggest challenge to his political career.
Analysts say the looming prospects of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
and former Vice President Joice Mujuru working together to form a mooted
grand coalition involving other smaller parties – could mark the
beginning of the end of Mugabe and Zanu PF – as the alliance could finally
see the opposition winning the 2018 elections.