Mugabe misled: War vets

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President Robert Mugabe is surrounded by regime change agents, who want to protect their ill-gotten wealth, war veterans have alleged ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with the 92-year-old leader.

by ELIAS MAMBO/EVERSON MUSHAVA

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Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general Victor Matemadanda said the former freedom fighters were not baying for Mugabe’s blood, as was being alleged by the G40 faction in Zanu PF, but merely wanted to protect the President.

“We do not want to remove President Mugabe from power. We are very much aware that the President was elected after we campaigned vigorously,” he said.

“There is no way the war veterans can push out their patron and there is no way a group of arrivistes (over-ambitious, self-seeking new political arrivals) can claim to protect the President more than the securocrats, who have always done so.”

Matemadanda alleged Mugabe was now surrounded by a group of pretenders eager to remove him from power.

“(Higher Education minister) Jonathan Moyo is on record, and we have videos, where he is saying the only way to destroy Zanu PF is from within,” Matemadanda claimed, although the Tsholotsho North legislator has maintained he has never said this.

“He is on record urging the world to punish the Mugabe regime and now he claims to be strongly behind Mugabe.

“Shadreck Mashayamombe told Mugabe that (First Lady) Grace Mugabe will not be accepted in Harare.

The President had to warn everyone that Harare is for everyone. We are all aware that Kudzi Chipanga is a Gamatox (the pejorative label for the expelled faction led by ousted former Vice-President Joice Mujuru) to the bare bones. He confessed recently at a Mazowe rally that he was now behind Mugabe after the youth league wanted to push him out.”

Matemadanda said most of the officials who were being loud in Zanu PF did not love Mugabe.

“They are making a lot of noise yet we know they have hidden agendas. They want to disturb our meeting on Thursday (tomorrow) by making rogue statements in the media,” he continued.
“Take stock of them and you will see they are all land barons and businessmen who have abused the party to accumulate wealth.”

Other war veterans said they were aware of moves by G40 to muzzle them from expressing their views to Mugabe at tomorrow’s meeting, but vowed to explore various avenues to reach the veteran leader with their concerns.

Some war veterans, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said even if they were blocked, that would not signal their end and they would find a way to reach Mugabe either at the meeting or some time later.

They said they suspected the meeting would not genuinely address the concerns of the former freedom fighters, but would be used to remove war veterans chairman Christopher Mutsvangwa.

“We know G40 does not want us to have a direct interface with President Mugabe for us to express our views, but we will find a way. We are not afraid to express our views,” a war veteran said.

“We are aware that G40 is driving the whole process and it will be more of a Zanu PF meeting than our platform to express our concerns. That is why they limited our number from 35 000 to only 10 000, they don’t want us to be more powerful.”

The relationship between Mugabe and the war veterans has been turbulent in the past few weeks, with the veteran leader accusing the former fighters of mobilising for his ouster.

War veterans, on the other hand, have been challenging Mugabe to rein in his wife and the G40 faction, but he has said he will not bow to the demands of an affiliate body.

“We even thought that other war veterans like former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, Rugare Gumbo, Didymus Mutasa, Jabulani Sibanda and Dumiso Dabengwa, who are no longer in Zanu PF, should attend, as it was a meeting of war veterans. They are still war vets and nothing will take that from them,” another war veteran said.

“But as you know, we are under siege, things were just offered to us to take; we cannot challenge that as it would be viewed as confrontation.

“Our fellow comrades outside Zanu PF should understand that we are with them, but we are under siege. What is happening is beyond our control.”

A preliminary meeting will start today, with war veterans expected to be broken into thematic groups on welfare, politics and the economy, among others, and then it will go into a plenary session, where their concerns will be noted and be presented to Mugabe tomorrow.

There are limited chances the war veterans will have a direct chance to interface with their patron.

Mutsvangwa, whom they said would be a target at the meeting, will deliver the welcoming remarks, according to the programme.

ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya declined to comment on the matter, opting to say they hoped to have an opportunity to express their concerns to Mugabe.

Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, who is co-ordinating tomorrow’s meeting, could not be reached for comment.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Yea from 35000 to 10000 reduction of the attendance just shows that there is a planned agenda to gag the vocal individuals. That is why there was serious vetting such that the old spies in the name of war veterans grace the occasion to propound the wishes of the elite and the g40 crew. These war vets failed us and let us down for a very long time dating back to the 1990s when they allowed this old man to continue standing as the only candidate for Zanu Pf in any election. By doing so he was taking himself as the only one with the right and ability to be the head of state so it has virtually become a norm that he should dictate for you on whatever you have to do. Now that it has changed in your mindset that you deserve some better treatment it is sour for him whom you hero worshiped for more than 3 decades. Be firm even in your small numbers to have your voice heard, whether he likes it or not.

    • Representatives can still articulate the concerns of war vets. 210 MP s represent the whole country. The only illusion among war vets is that they still have the political clout to call shots. Far from it! The country is moving on . In ten years time they will all be above 70 yrs . They need welfare not future political power. The country will harmonized the new constitution and settle for a President who is his fifties during the next decade. Only the current one has enjoyed tenure at an advanced age. We are changing in line with the global trend , though slowly.

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  3. Its no surprising to note that some minority ex combats have joined the Regime Change & Successionist drowning boat that has failed the ill informed pvt media & puppet opposition parties.Now the difficult that have is that the Leader they wish to unseat scored a historic emphatic electoral victory on the 31st July 2013 unprecedented in our history as a liberated country.According to the constitution of the Republic his term in office is far from being over. Zanu PF has an absolute majority in the Parliament & during the past by-elections the numbers in parliament are overwhelming -shut up as opposition gave us those number on a silver platter. In any rational situation it takes someone insane to seek to unseat a Leader who has such commanding democratic figures(votes).Now we have a few ex combats who are at odds with the sentiments of the nation expressed by the last national election.

  4. Very strange words I have read here. “Campaigned vigorously = beat up, torture, injure or kill including long sleeve/short sleeve” then “historic emphatic electoral victory = rigged elections” and “commanding democratic figures = less that 3000 votes in Highfield for the president can never be described as “commanding”. Ha ha ha. Please let’s not display ignorance like this. If you support ZPF with your eyes & mind closed don’t think everyone else’s eyes and mind is closed.

    Probably the only popular election for Zanu was in 1980 that’s all. There was more euphoria than rational behaviour then.

    Not everyone relies on ZPF for their livelihood, some of us are not that desperate, stupid, greedy or evil

  5. To say that Mugabe is being misled and hold on to that belief is the height of stupidity. Mugabe is not being misled by anyone, and he knows exactly what he is doing. No wonder he has been able to manipulate Zanu PF members at will all these years because they make excuses for him when he messes up.

    It is now very clear that this war vets Indaba is a useless exercise where Mugabe will chew them and spit them out like rotten meat. They are very stupid if they believe that he is misled.

  6. Zanu PF has never won a free & Fair election. In 1980 Mugabe threatened to go back to war if he lost the election. The people voted for ending the war rather than voting for Mugabe. In 85 Mugabe unleashed violence on his opponents who included ZAPU & UANC (Dzakutsaku ). I was part of the crowd when he told the youths to go and uproot all stumbling blocks. I could go on & on but time & space does not allow.

  7. G40 is a creation of Mugabe and non other. G40 takes instructions from the originator, who also sets program of action. The question of being misled falls away.

  8. YOU know what this is very funny that how these so called war vets are listening to this old man bluffing them. I dont think are these the war vets I was with guys because of some change which you are recieving on a monthly basis thats what makes you to sellout your children”s future to this old man who had killed some of our comrades but today you making him as a hero you know i get angry with you guys please remember what happened in the early 1980s and how many people were killed under this man”s government.

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