WAR veterans aligned to the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led executive have vowed to snub the forthcoming Zanu PF annual conference to be held in Masvingo next week, as their relations with the ruling party continue to deteriorate.
Source: War vets vow to boycott Zanu PF conference – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 6, 2016
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya, confirmed the development yesterday, saying this would be the first time war veterans have boycotted such a key event.
“They won’t be any war veteran there at the conference, and this is the first time that President (Robert) Mugabe would address the Zanu PF conference without the war veterans,” he said.
“Christopher Mutsvangwa, the democratically-elected leader of the war veterans, is not wanted by this Zanu PF G40, which is afraid of us because we don’t represent their corrupt tendencies.
“This conference has no relevance because, we the people, who founded the struggle that led to the formation of the party, are now detached from it. We have been made to feel secluded from the values we founded, the ethos we fought for and introduced in Zimbabwe.”
But Zanu PF political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday brushed off the boycott threat, saying: “War veterans will be there. We have our President who is a war veteran, Vice-President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa is a war veteran, so is VP Phelekezela Mphoko. Only those war veterans, who were expelled from the party, will not be there.
“Zanu PF is united and all those contradictions are part of our internal debate. It is democracy within the party.”
Mutsvangwa and his executive were kicked out of the ruling party early this year on accusations of fanning factionalism and propping Mnangagwa’s bid to succeed Mugabe.
Mahiya said Zanu PF had lost relevance because those remaining in the party were devoid of the values and ethos of the armed struggle.
Zanu PF is set to hold its annual conference in Masvingo and normally war veterans give a solidarity message—as an affiliate of the party — but due to factional fights rocking both Zanu PF and the association itself, Mahiya said no one should claim to represent them at the conference.
Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene and her faction of the war veterans’ association were recently barred by the High Court from masquerading as leaders of the former fighters.