Fungi Kwaramba 4 February 2017
HARARE – In an ominous threat, angry war veterans have warned President
Robert Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao – who is also Indigenisation
minister – that they will haul him over the coals over his withering
attacks on Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa once the nonagenarian leaves
The disaffected former freedom fighters also fired a broadside at Cabinet
ministers Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere whom they claim are
kingpins of the Zanu PF faction going by the moniker Generation 40 (G40),
which is rabidly opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe.
Speaking to the Daily News this week, the spokesperson of the Zimbabwe
National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) Douglas Mahiya,
warned of a future “revenge mission” targeted at the dreadlocked Zhuwao
once Mugabe leaves office.
“Jonathan Moyo, Kasukuwere and Zhuwao don’t want to talk about their
future because they are benefitting from the status quo when they did not
take part in the liberation struggle.
“And Zhuwao must congratulate himself for being a Cabinet minister. The
other two (Moyo and Kasukuwere) may speak but he (Zhuwao) is a foreigner
and must shut up. Mugabe’s last day and last term of office will also be
“On the day that the president leaves, then Zhuwao must also run. After
all, what has he done for the country? We are war veterans, we do not
refer to Zhuwao at all besides that he is Mugabe’s nephew and he should
stand warned,” the forthright Mahiya told the Daily News.
The vocal Zhuwao, who war veterans claim is Malawian, has had several
run-ins with the disgruntled ex-combatants over the past two years.
But Zhuwao laughed off the threats to banish him from Zimbabwe, going on
to describe the vets as cowards.
“I cannot comment on people who want to portray courage and bravery in the
media but are scared to confront me. They talk through newspapers. Mbwende
dzevanhu (cowards),” he told the Daily News in a curt response.
The fed up war veterans have publicly come out to back Mnangagwa to
succeed Mugabe – who turns a mature 93 later this month – as Zanu PF’s
seemingly unstoppable tribal, factional and succession wars get ever
They have also warned that blood may even flow in the country if Mnangagwa
does not succeed the long-ruling nonagenarian who has studiously refused
to name his Zanu PF successor, arguing that the party should rather follow
what he sees as a more democratic process to manage his succession – doing
so through a congress.
In the run-up to Zanu PF’s annual conference that was held in Masvingo in
December last year, Zhuwao was also threatened with death after a
self-claimed Mnangagwa loyalist, Frank Onismo Ziyambi, warned him via
Facebook that he risked being killed for his withering attack on the
Zhuwao had at that time publicly attacked Mnangagwa and his Team Lacoste
faction, including war veterans – describing the VP as “unelectable” and
not worth supporting because of the tendency of his “excitable” backers to
bully and threaten people.
Then, Mahiya responded saying that Zhuwao had “no moral ground” to comment
on their activities as he was “not yet born” when they waged the war of
liberation in the 1970s.
“Zhuwao doesn’t know anything … when we went to war he was not yet born.
He is trying to personalise or making it (leadership of Zanu PF and the
country) a family thing because you will never find justification when
this issue comes from the nephew of the president.
“They want to separate us from the people, but we will remain with the
people. We expect such a thing from Zhuwao considering his age. If it was
not the determination of war veterans, he would never have had his
dreadlocks and he would never have been a minister.
“We don’t see him occupying that position as justifiable. It’s part of
what we think is nepotism. He doesn’t know about the revolution, he only
knows this from books. He must shut up. People must not call people like
Zhuwao comrades. It’s an abuse of the name,” Mahiya thundered.
In their latest attacks on the G40, the war veterans also ratcheted up
their attacks on Moyo and Kasukuwere whom they described as cowards.
“G40, where are they coming from? They call us drunkards, that is not what
we expect from a political commissar (Kasukuwere) but it is now clear that
he is the one who is drunk. He sees everybody as drunk.
“Does he mean that we do not think and that his corrupt group that has
caused so much suffering in the party and country is the only one that
thinks?” the agitated Mahiya asked.
“Moyo, Kasukuwere and Zhuwao do not know anything about this country.
Tovaisa pasi paana mujibha (we place them below the level of war
collaborators). Their motive is to ensure that they will be at the helm
“It is shocking that they do not want a member of their own party as a
leader. Where is the integrity of the party going to come from?
“When I am speaking, I am speaking for the war veterans. Come on
Kasukuwere, you don’t understand the organogram of a party in which you
claim to be the commissar,” Mahiya added, further claiming that Mnangagwa
had been chosen to succeed Mugabe in 1977 when he was elected special
assistant to the nonagenarian.
“The problem is that the party has been joined by people who started at
the top in the politburo and were never in the structures.
“Who will succeed Mugabe will be determined not by contemporary events,
but by historical facts and Jonso (Moyo) and his friends cannot turn back
the hands of time,” Mahiya said.
The disgruntled former freedom fighters, have also recently been
ratcheting up their loud calls for Mugabe to retire now and pave the way
for his long-time aide to take over the reins at both party and government
They have also tried in vain to pressure Mugabe into sacking Kasukuwere
Since their fallout with Mugabe first burst out into the open in July last
year, after they released a damning communique in which they savaged the
Zanu PF leader before serving him with divorce papers, the ex-combatants
have not missed an opportunity to attack Mugabe.
Their stunning fallout brought to an end a relationship that dates back to
the days of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.
They have also claimed that Mugabe’s continued stay in power was now a
stumbling block to the country’s development, adding rather contemptuously
that the nonagenarian would be “a hard-sell” if he ever contemplated
contesting the 2018 presidential poll.
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.
Immediately after this threat, police swooped on some of the ZNLWVA
executive members who were arraigned before the courts, which eventually
set them free.