War vets, police in fierce clashes

HUNDREDS of war veterans who had gathered in Harare in solidarity with embattled Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday became victims of police brutality, when they were violently dispersed with teargas and water cannons.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

The war veterans’ leadership had called its members from all over the country for an emergency meeting to discuss the ongoing Zanu PF factional fights when they met police heavy-handedness, normally reserved for opposition parties and civic groups.

Trouble for the freedom fighters started as early as 8am when they were told they had to find an alternative venue, as their preferred one, Zanu PF headquarters, was booked for other events.

War vets tearsmoke

Members of the anti-riot police Pic Aron Ufumeli (2)

A war veteran Scenes from the clashes between the police and war veterans in Harare yesterday

The ex-combatants then resolved to reconvene at the City Sports Centre, but as they were still trooping to the venue, armed police ordered them to disperse, describing the gathering as illegal.

Tempers immediately flared as the war veterans refused to disperse and instead, started insulting the police and shouting obscenities at First Lady Grace Mugabe, Zanu PF national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Hurungwe East MP Sarah Mahoka, among other suspected G40 members.

Police then fired teargas canisters into the crowd, forcing the war vets to flee, while others collapsed after choking on the fumes.

“It’s clear now that this country is being run by whores and gays who don’t even know how to respect us. They are now abusing young police officers, whom we paved way for good living in a free Zimbabwe. We say down with them all,” one war veteran shouted, as he fled the scene with baton-wielding police officers in hot pursuit.

The ex-combatants later regrouped at an adjacent open space, where they continued insulting suspected members of G40 particularly Grace and Kasukuwere.
“We are being persecuted by Kasukuwere,” one war veteran, who identified himself as Cde Zvichanaka, said.

“He is the one who sent police to treat us like criminals. He is not the President and we want him out.”

Another ex-combatant, who identified herself as Shingirai Takauyanetsoka, said: “I feel like crying. Some leaders have multiple farms and as war vets, what do we have? Nothing. They insult us every day. Down with gays. We are not photocopies of war vets, but real ones. This treatment is worse than what we experienced in the war.”

Peacemaker Maposa, another former liberator, said: “We are being treated like dogs. You are now in positions and occupying higher officers. This shows that there is no leader anymore at the top. Every day, they insult us. Why? If it is a sin to go to war, God will judge us and if it is a crime, they should send us to prison. Who is Grace? There is no First Lady in the Constitution. CIA [United States’ Central Intelligence Agency] has taken over State House. We want the President (Robert Mugabe) to come clean on this.”

War veterans’ association national executive member Agnes Rusike Siyakurima called on the former fighters not to defy the police.

“We are not MDC. This is not correct. What kind of behaviour is this? We went to see senior police officers and (Home Affairs minister Ignatius) Chombo and they all said they are not the ones who ordered this,” she said.

When police noticed the war veterans were regrouping, they drove into the crowd with two water cannons and another truckload of armed officers and forced them to disperse again.

War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa later addressed a Press conference, where he blasted the police for their heavy-handedness, which he equated to “a political Marikana”.

“These are the war vets who were subjected to such treatment by the State. We equate such brutality to the South African Marikana scenario,” he said, referring to the Marikana killings in 2012 in neighbouring South Africa, where police officers shot and killed 34 striking mineworkers. “Clearly to see police bringing out paraphernalia of violence and beating up war vets, who are unarmed, the best they had were cellphones, and who were coming to attend a meeting, it’s equivalent to the Marikana scenario because the State has gone berserk. We don’t know why the State has gone berserk.”

Mutsvangwa, who was accompanied by part of his executive and his deputy Tshinga Dube, accused fellow politburo member and Tsholotsho North MP Moyo of inciting the attack on war veterans.

He alleged that Moyo, whom he labelled a de facto Executive, had hinted about the impending attack on his Twitter account.

Mutsvangwa said if the country was not careful, it would head the ISIS [Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] extremist way, adding there were elements within Zanu PF who were being influenced by the “occult and mysticism” as evidenced at Grace’s rally, where Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene, who claims to have assumed the leadership of the war vets body after a vote of no-confidence in the War Veterans minister, paraded a person believed to be a spirit medium.

He said they asked Zanu PF secretary for war veterans Sydney Sekeramayi to have the attacks stopped, but their appeals also yielded nothing.

But police maintained they used minimum force, saying the gathering was illegal.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the liberation war fighters only tried to notify them yesterday, contrary to requirements, which stipulate that for a demonstration, they needed seven days and for a public meeting five days’ notice.

“This was not done because they just convened at the City Sports Centre. The owner had not authorised the use of the place,” she said.

Charamba also denied that police had joined the Zanu PF factional fights.

“Police are there to maintain law and order. We cannot leave the country in chaos because people have their own opinions. That is our duty,” she said.

Contacted for comment, Chimene said: “It is very unfortunate that they hired buses to bring in people for an illegal demonstration. They should have used that money for productive things like paying school fees for children of war veterans, who are even failing to collect their results because they didn’t pay school fees.

“These people are exposing themselves and their agenda. I hope those who were bussed by lying that the President wanted to address them are now seeing that they are being used.”

• See also comment

27 Responses to War vets, police in fierce clashes

  1. Bindura February 19, 2016 at 6:20 am #

    #JoiceMujuru2018

  2. Wasu February 19, 2016 at 6:24 am #

    Mai Mujuru all the way.All these yrs i votted for Tsvangirai but he couldnt wrestle power from Mugabe.Zanu pf is finished.

  3. Mzezuru February 19, 2016 at 6:28 am #

    I agree with u Wasu and Bindura,we votted for MDCT all these yrs now we need a change.Zanupf is in tatters and lets take advantage of that and vote for Joice.

  4. Mapako February 19, 2016 at 6:29 am #

    Zvamutsana tsuro nembwa.#Joicemujuru

  5. Tinashe Murwira February 19, 2016 at 6:57 am #

    Ini ndiri mutendi weShoko reNguva. Ndakasanganawo nebhuku rakanyorwa nemumwe wedu rinonzi The Hidden Ministry richiwanikwa pa:httpscolonforwardslashforwardslashareobooksdotcomforwardslashbooksforwardslash182. Riri kundiropafadza zvikuru.

  6. Pidigu dhi February 19, 2016 at 8:20 am #

    when the hunter becomes the hunted. Rohwai tiende. I wouldnt vote for Joyce she is just old wine in a new bottle.

  7. TruthBTold February 19, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    Joice is ZPF. I still want to see and hear true repentance. Spill the beans on everthing and ask the nation and the Lord for forgiveness. I want to see a rock solid opposition coalition. And they are all too divided and selfish for that to happen. And may the Lord raise up a leader of His own choice: a man/woman after His own heart.

  8. Truth February 19, 2016 at 8:26 am #

    maWar Vets mamama. Manga majaira kungorova vanhu imi!

    • Chipanga February 19, 2016 at 9:38 am #

      Their biggest mistake was to run away the way they did. It is now known kuti VANOTYA and hapana zvavanoita. Many of them have skeletons locked away but the keys are kept by Dr Grace. It will surprise me if some of them should suddenly find themselves facing JUSTICE for the heinous crimes they committed over the years (in the name of ZANU). Matununu!

      • Chipanga February 19, 2016 at 9:42 am #

        CORRECTION: Their biggest mistake was to run away the way they did. It is now known kuti VANOTYA and hapana zvavanoita. Many of them have skeletons locked away but the keys are kept by Dr Grace. It will NOT surprise me if some of them should suddenly find themselves facing JUSTICE for the heinous crimes they committed over the years (in the name of ZANU). Matununu!

  9. Takaz February 19, 2016 at 8:40 am #

    Manga majaira. taste your own medicine. Pasi naMistress wekustate house awoooo. Mistress Goreraza, Pamire, Makamba, Mugabe, Gono…………..xaaaaa mhani

  10. francis February 19, 2016 at 9:31 am #

    munoti dheeee chete gore rino. zuro maiti muri masoja wani vana mutsvangwa kkkkkkkk , mhanza dzichamera mvere nemateargas kkkkkkkkkk

  11. zimbabwean February 19, 2016 at 9:40 am #

    “mukatyora mutemo ehe munodashurwa”

  12. Vandetta February 19, 2016 at 9:42 am #

    So u mean MDC ndiyo inofanira kurohwa here since u said “we are not MDC”.you deserve the beating dai marohwa zvakanyanya..CIA mumoiziva here imi let alone do you even understand world politics,you guys are just turning on each other so don’t start playing the blame game as you have been doin a long time ago,heee sanctions this sanctions that.you ZANU pf thugs.. I just hope muchamamisana kusvika mese map era before you hurt innocent civilians cz that will very much call the very ppl u’r scared of into the country on the card that they want to protect civilians. so plz fight each other in that burning house of yours and never come out

  13. Rohwai Tiende February 19, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    Ku Statehouse kure ma 0 vet bvunzai MDC tea

  14. chap February 19, 2016 at 10:38 am #

    Chamakadyara chamera imi maO vet, hee nyika haitongwi nevasina kurwa hondo, Chitongayi tiwone. Mumvura mumeNgwena munyika Mune Mboko. Maruza imi, mukoma Chinx vaimbireyi. Zimbabwe shall never be a colony again and again, hahahahaha.

  15. Qawe laMaqawe February 19, 2016 at 10:42 am #

    This Chimene lady has no brains at all or she uses her other side for thinking, why did they not use the money they are spending attending stupid rallies being addressed by the chief culprit Disgrace? I am not for Disgrace or the lizard or Zanu for that matter but just bringing out insanity on the leaders of my dear country.

  16. Titus February 19, 2016 at 11:03 am #

    When the war veterans marched to Tendai Biti’s(then minister of finance in the gnu) offices nobody stopped them so much so that they almost manhandled him. Now the police want us to believe that yesterday’s gathering was not sanctioned simply because it was not targeting MDC .What hypocrisy .They are having a taste of their own medicine. Being openly told that they are not indispensable after all. You can only sing your master’s song otherwise chachaya. Now it’s the police brace up for the youths – you were warned. I for one will be enjoying the drama.

  17. Real cde February 19, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    #Team Mujuru for Zimbabwe

  18. Essexvale February 19, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

    Under normal circumstances, the demo should have been permitted In the interests of democracy and civil liberties enshrined in the nation’s constitution. However, it would be wrong if the demo was used as a means of promoting the sinister agendas of a particular group or individual. Citizens should understand that this is where the difference lies when weighing the good or bad of the reported situation.

  19. Chief February 19, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

    Munorohwa mukadambuka maUnderpeni vafana…..kkkkkkkkkk

  20. Mtshayazafe February 19, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    “Once A Zanu PF always A Zanu PF” remember that guys….so NO to MUJURU or anyone from zanu PF. We need new pple, it may not be tsangy but anyone with no zanu attachments is fyn…..maybe Me or U

  21. mtzvy February 19, 2016 at 11:31 pm #

    Putting grace into power is a mockery of Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans. So what kana grace achemberawo then it’s chatungas turn? Hanzi “handei tino supporter amai ” (chiyangwa 2015)… Zanu I duzvi. Grace iduzvi, chiyangwa iduzvi.. Kasukuwere iduzvi… Mujuru waimbova duzvi… Nw eava katuzvi…. Ma war vet sorry makadashurwa… But muri matuzvi as well..

  22. Sekuru Gora February 19, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

    munoti yee todzokera kuhondo yeeee topinda musango imi muchifenta nemvura ko kuzoti tikakutumirai mapostori heeee munotozvimamira zve kkkkkk

  23. KARANDA MISSION HOSPITAL February 20, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

    am now confused… murikuti ma war vets ndovarobwa nemapurisa?????????????????

    • mtzvy February 20, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

      Ehunde. Ndovabikwa

  24. levi February 21, 2016 at 7:48 am #

    A fact as a fact. If war vets were convened why did they allow to be used by zanu pf to kill innocent people.
    They must learn to contact themselves. Now they can show us they can get into another hand to be used again.
    I respect them but they are being overused. They must be telling us what motivations caused them to go to war and were those motivations fullfilled.
    They must ask mugabe whether they went to fight for poverty or what.
    Mugabe is gone. I thank him for the liberation? But he overstayed. He cannot manage a farm and yet he claims to lead the nation.
    IF he want to die in office, you must give the position of commander in chief. He must leave presidencies go stay in the camp to give more training for our solidiers
    Mugabe is disturbing Zimbabwe’s progress. Now we can see he cannot control her wife.

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