War veterans and the G40 have once again renewed their rivalry, with allegations the Zanu PF Young Turks were engineering divisions within the liberation war fighters in a bid to depose leadership.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
G40, reportedly led by Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, is reportedly fed up with war veterans’ leader Christopher Mutsvangwa and is mulling his ouster or to facilitate the formation of another association.
“This group is supposed to rival Mutsvangwa because he is viewed as sympathetic to (Vice-President Emmerson) Mnangagwa,” an insider said.
“The coming annual national conference and its aftermath will be interesting.”
Former war vets secretary for projects Endy Mhlanga, who has been linked to the new group, disassociated himself from “this nonsense”.
“I am not leading any move to form any association because I am working well with Mutsvangwa along with other elders like (Patrick) Nyaruwata,” he said.
“I have heard that a group, which includes (Shadreck) Beta, is against VP Mnangagwa. Maybe they are the ones thinking of forming their own association.”
Mhlanga said divisions in the former freedom fighters were a manifestation of the “succession struggles” in the former liberation movement.
“These are part of the natural leadership struggles that you will find in any organisation like Zanu PF,” he continued.
“You will hear a lot of nonsense, but these things will pass and result in nothing really.”
But impeccable sources insisted the move to form a rival group was underway.
“They (G40) realise that they need a part of the war veterans for their plot and will stop at nothing,” the source said.
“But their cover has been blown and we want to see if they can wriggle out of this one. Just watch and learn. The annual conference will be a defining moment for a lot of people.”
After uniting to get rid of former Vice-President Joice Mujuru at the tail end of last year, Mnangagwa and Kasukuwere are said to be locked in a bitter tussle for control of the ruling party ahead of the 2018 elections.
Kasukuwere has been at odds with Mutsvangwa’s war veterans after a fall-out a few months ago, triggered by a harsh exchange of words.
The G40 group reportedly includes Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Mugabe’s nephew, Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao.
First Lady Grace Mugabe, who has been linked with the G40 group, launched a scathing attack at the former freedom fighters recently.
War veteran’s secretary-general Victor Matemadanda said he was not aware of the intention of forming a rival association, but warned of “ghastly consequences”.
“War veterans in Zimbabwe are a result of one struggle that was prosecuted by people with a common agenda and united in their wish to liberate their country from oppression,” he said.
“If anybody wants to form their own group, they may need to start a war of their own after which they can then form a rival veterans’ association.”
He said he was not worried about the G40 group.
“I have not met these people that the media call G40,” he said.
“We will not waste our time fighting with children. Anybody who is 40 years and below did not fight in the war, hence they are children who need guidance rather than being fought by us.”
Mutsvangwa has also dismissed the G40.
Kasukuwere, on the other hand, refuted allegations that he was working towards dividing the war veterans or forming a rival organisation.
“People must stop this rumour-mongering because our party is united,” he said. “This idea of thinking that there will be divisions that will support individual agendas will not work.
“Our war veterans are respectable people who fought hard for our independence and should never be divided. There should never be any intention to divide them because they fought so hard to liberate our country.”