ZANU PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday described the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) leaders as “drunkards” after the former fighters launched a scathing attack on his leadership.
By Jairos Saunyama
The fall-out was precipitated by Kasukuwere’s alleged imposition of Terrence Mukupe as the Zanu PF candidate in the Harare East constituency for the June 10 by-election.
As tempers flared, the former fighters issued a statement on Tuesday attacking Kasukuwere and a group of “Young Turks” known as “Generation 40” in the ruling party.
ZNLWVA secretary-general Victor Matemadanda alleged there was a renewed plot by the group of young leaders in the ruling party to remove President Robert Mugabe by force with backing from Western powers. But Kasukuwere told thousands of people at a campaign rally at Mukondwa Primary School in Hwedza North constituency that those pointing fingers at him never fought in the country’s war of liberation.
“These, who are here, are real war veterans, not those war veterans (that were) on television last night (Tuesday) who don’t know what they are saying,” Kasukuwere said.
“They sit down and drink beer at (a named local hotel) before talking what they do not know.”
In an interview with NewsDay after the rally, Kasukuwere stood by his words. “They are drunkards; some of them are not real war veterans. They were taxi drivers in Zambia,” he said.
The rally, which was attended by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, was held to garner support for David Musabayana ahead of tomorrow’s by-election to fill the seat left vacant following the death of former Environment deputy minister Simon Musanhi in January this year.
Kasukuwere has also crossed swords with the ruling party’s Youth League in Harare with reports he has been advised by the Women’s League to support Mukupe’s rival Mavis Gumbo as the party’s preferred candidate.
In his address to the media on Tuesday, Matemadanda accused the party’s “Young Turks” of fuelling confusion in the party and devising various strategies to undermine Mugabe.