Panicky Mugabe courts war vets

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has reportedly pressed the panic button in the wake of howls of disapproval from veterans of the country’s liberation struggle and a growing schism between the ex-fighters and the Zanu PF elite.

By Elias Mambo/RICHARD CHIDZA/XOLISANI NCUBE

Mugabe had initially appeared to have discarded the war veterans, led by Christopher Mutsvangwa, when he publicly accused him of disorderly conduct two weeks ago, but made a volte-face at the weekend when he sought to reconnect with ex-combatants and former detainees at his 92nd birthday bash held in Masvingo.

This came amid reports that his new nemesis and former deputy, Joice Mujuru – who now leads the opposition Zimbabwe People First – was “fishing in the same pond for support”.

Robert-Mugabe-worried PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe[/Caption]

Mujuru at the weekend reportedly addressed more than 100 veterans of the struggle, who pledged to dump the “violent Zanu PF” and rally behind her ahead of the 2018 elections.

Organisers of Mugabe’s birthday bash paraded close to 30 ex-freedom fighters, who shared prison cells with Mugabe in detention and restriction camps around the country in the 1960s and 1970s.

“So, together now we must find our way (out of) the problems that we face together,” the President said.

“We have a lot to learn from the war veterans because they are more experienced. But I don’t want them to be bullied.”

The reconnection came a fortnight after Mutsvangwa’s group fought running battles with police over an aborted meeting which was aimed at discussing their welfare.

Mugabe later apologised to the war veterans and pledged to make amends, but went on to accuse Mutsvangwa of organising the meeting without consulting him as the war veterans patron or any one of the security ministers.

It, however, later emerged the three security ministers had been briefed about the meeting.

Yesterday, war veterans’ secretary-general Victor Matemadanda said they had been given the green light to hold their meeting, which was aborted a fortnight ago.
He said the meeting would be held at the City Sports Centre on Thursday.

Matemadanda said the agenda of the meeting would include the need to incorporate war veterans and the military as special advisers to the Zanu PF politburo to “re-direct the party back to its original ideology”.

“We would want the party to have a military commission of some sort that will be advising the party leadership on decisions that they make. This is one of the things that we are going to be discussing at the meeting,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate that when we wanted to discuss some of these things, some among us thought we were doing something diabolic or they were afraid of their diabolic activities. We want to discuss how we can rejuvenate the party and take it back to its ethos of the liberation struggle.

“It is allowed in Zanu PF to criticise each other constructively and come up with solutions. It is also Zanu PF policy that, among us, our contradictions should be managed to a level that they don’t create enmity among comrades. But what we (are) saying today is just the opposite and this is what we want comrades to come and discuss freely and recommend to the party on what should be done freely.”

Meanwhile, on Saturday, some of Mugabe’s fellow detainees could not contain their emotions when they reconnected with him after more than four decades.
Mugabe was arrested in 1964 and spent the next 10 years in various detention camps and prisons such as Sikombela (Gokwe), Khami (Bulawayo) and Gonakudzingwa (Gonarezhou National Park).

A surprised Mugabe hugged and greeted his ex-prison mates amid slogans from war veterans saluting the President.

In an interview yesterday, the former inmates’ co-ordinator, Raymond Mazorodze, said he was already in Harare to strengthen the reunification with Mugabe.

“I am at the Zanu PF headquarters to deal with that issue and I cannot divulge what we are discussing,” he said.

12 Responses to Panicky Mugabe courts war vets

  1. mgobhozi wezintabeni March 1, 2016 at 5:20 am #

    That the President wasn’t aware of the meeting of the war vets yet his security ministries were briefed shows that there is no cohesion in his cabinet,hence there is very poor delivery of goods and services.Hopefully,he realises that his wife and those few gangsters called the G40 are dragging the into civil strife.

  2. clement moyo March 1, 2016 at 8:39 am #

    Its a lie they all knew but are no afraid of the security threat which I don’t think is there at all as war veterans no longer have any teeth to bite with.

  3. sherpard March 1, 2016 at 9:42 am #

    Mugabe is just afraid of the other Zanu Pf that of Mujuru, nothing else, he realizes that if he dumps war veterans that would definitely spell the end of his Zanu Pf as war veeterans will join Mujuru and mobilize for her

  4. Newako March 1, 2016 at 10:06 am #

    Nobody knows what is happening and that is the reason why the country is such a mess. Nobody talks to anyone too unless they belong to the same faction.

  5. Biyodho March 1, 2016 at 10:45 am #

    These war veterans are useless. The last time they were beaten asi vakunzi chiitai meeting.Good for nothing lazy to work vajaira zvemahara.

  6. Wonder March 1, 2016 at 12:07 pm #

    l respect Robert Gabriel Mugabe more than any other leader in this world.long live legendary.

  7. TICHAONA March 1, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

    Please Matemadanda war veterans are not Zanu PF- just veterans of the liberation struggle who individually can belong to any political party of choice. Now i am disturbed by what you want to propose at your forthcoming meeting i.e militarizing Zanu PF. For what? Saka muchidirwa mvura neteargas because your priorities are misguided. You want to go and terrorise the rural folk to prop up your patron in 2018 elections. Same old story, you will be used and later dumped. Hamudzidze.

    • aikazveeee March 2, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

      Tichaona, War veterans formed Zanu PF for war purposes. The war was fought by zanla and zipra which went on to be zanu pf. So the war veterans formed zanu pf and civillians joined it. Zanu was not formed in hotels or some fantasy land. you wont seperate the two. They formed it, they own it, they gave it a name, they gave rules, it was formed on foundations laid down by the same people. only that they allow even young blood to manage but they own it. Zanu pf and Pf Zapu were two millitary wings and forming a formidable millitary intelligence commission is no allien to political parties of repute let alone revolutionary parties.

  8. Prof March 1, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

    ….. the meeting would include the need to incorporate war veterans and the MILITARY as special advisers to the Zanu PF politburo to “re-direct the party back to its original ideology”.
    So the military is now an arm of ZANU PF???????

    • adhala nyimbo March 2, 2016 at 8:19 am #

      yes proffessor it must be an arm of the party iri kutonga zanla force ndoyatiri kutaura

  9. Malcolm March 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

    even God himself will come walking if it happens that ZANF PF wins in 2018. They are dead and burried.

  10. Stapleford Maswera March 2, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

    Zanu PF inohwina chete. Iyo mbavha inonzi Joice Mujuru ichange yavamujere muna 2018. Joice akadzingwa kuti anyatsosungika. Vanoda endaikoko muende kujeri. After 10years, 2028 anogona kudzoka kuZanu Pf otongawo. But vana va1980 – 1990 vanenge vodawo…

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