‘War vets avert State capture’

Source: ‘War vets avert State capture’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 25, 2016

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe “skilfully managed” a potentially volatile situation by meeting the country’s former freedom fighters three weeks ago averting State capture, a senior government official has said.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Secretary for War Veterans Walter Asher Tapfumaneyi told NewsDay yesterday that Mugabe’s meeting with war veterans pre-empted “an untenable situation” following threats to the country’s military establishment by a youthful faction within Zanu PF.

“The youths have challenged war veterans to a fight including firearms. That is on record and raised a lot of tension in our society. But this was effectively managed by the President’s meeting with war veterans,” he said.

Without mentioning anyone by name, Tapfumaneyi said youthful members of the governing Zanu PF party were attempting to discredit the military and war veterans.

“There is a visible attempt in today’s politics to organise Zimbabwean society away from war veterans. It defines an attempt to supersede war veterans rather than to inherit from their tried and tested tradition of struggle and resistance, which is central to the survival of the party and the defence of Zimbabwe’s sovereignty,” he said.

Zanu PF youth league deputy secretary Kudzai Chipanga, a few months ago, challenged war veterans to a fight and made unsavoury remarks to the effect that they were afflicted by a litany of ailments and now a spent force.

The comments attracted the ire of the former freedom fighters, but Mugabe defended Chipanga during his birthday celebrations in Masvingo in February, describing the youth leader as “principled”.

Tapfumaneyi also defended remarks by Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga that war veterans and the military were the country’s “stockholders” and not mere “stakeholders”.

“General Chiwenga is speaking as a leader of the statutory forces as well as a senior war veteran. There is a new phenomenon of an elite youth that became quite dominant after the 2013 elections and organised along factional lines.

“He (Chiwenga) is responding to that. The phenomenon remains active today, with encouragement from adults within the party who are now trying to analyse Chiwenga’s status, (but) he recognises the role of the masses in both Zanu PF and Zimbabwe’s progress,” Tapfumaneyi said.

He added that at the meeting, the President “made it clear that General Chiwenga is his number two” putting to rest speculation that Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa was Mugabe’s heir apparent.

COMMENTS

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    Zambuko 6 years ago

    Richard Chidza is incoherent. What on earth is he writing about? He asserts that General Chiwenga is in line to replace Mugabe. He asserts that by meeting War Veterans Mugabe managed to avert a “State Capture” by elite youths but does not explain how such a meeting averted State Capture. Chipanga may be an example of such an elite youth because he challenged the War Veterans but Mugabe supported Chipanga. One day I hope Chidza deviates into sense.