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Zipra statements spark controversy

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THE statement by Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) High Command on repeated army general’s threats not to allow a candidate without liberation war credentials to succeed President Robert Mugabe has sparked controversy.

Report by Richard Muponde

On Wednesday, the ex-commanders published a Press statement saying they would support a leader who respects the ideals and values of the liberation struggle and who recognised the concept of “one man, one vote”.

They also disowned the securocrats’ stance claiming the Office of the President was “a straightjacket”.

However, a former Zipra commander John Gazi described those who put the statement as a bogus group who were not commanders of the armed wing of PF Zapu during the armed struggle.

“With all due respect to commanders both late and living, it seems people have developed a dirty habit of using the name Zipra and PF Zapu out of context,” he told NewsDay.

“We note with great concern that there are many homemade commanders who, after the war, suddenly became commanders.

“These homemade commanders were never members of the Zipra High Command.”

But Zipra veterans’ chairman, Buster Mangwizi poured scorn on Gazi’s sentiments.

“We are a bona fide group and sorry it’s not my business to explain to Gazi the Zipra High Command,” he said.

When contacted for comment on Wednesday, after the statement was published, the leader of the revived Zapu Dumiso Dabengwa said the group had a constitutional right to publish whatever they wanted.
Dabengwa was part of PF Zapu’s military wing’s High Command at Independence.

“They contacted me and made me aware of the Press statement and I have not engaged them on it,” he said.

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