A GROUP of war veterans, believed to be sympathetic to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, yesterday said they had withdrawn their support for President Robert Mugabe and demanded he steps down, as he was “no longer fit for the Presidency”.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The war veterans, who include ex-Zanla commander, Parker Chipoyera, former top intelligence operative Retired Colonel Bastan Beta, Levy Gwarada and Ngoni Chitauro, among others, said their move was a follow up to the mandate they bestowed on Mugabe during the liberation war.
The war veterans, however, denied they were linked to Mujuru’s opposition Zimbabwe People First.
“We, the war veterans who agreed to the authorship of the Mgagao document and appended our signatures to it, now withdraw the mandate we gave to Robert Mugabe to be the leader,” Chipoyera told journalists in Harare.
The group accused Mugabe of running down the economy and playing the tribal card to retain power, hence the decision to withdraw their support.
They accused Mugabe of seeking to use them by only engaging liberation fighters during crises and discarding them in better times.
“To our fellow comrades, we take this opportunity to remind you that Mugabe no longer represents your interests,” Chipoyera said, at the same time urging Zimbabweans to resist Mugabe’s “tyranny” while demanding true democracy.
“Zimbabwe, once the jewel and breadbasket of Africa, is now a failed State and a laughing stock, even among the poorest of nations. Its people are now deeply divided along political, ethnic and tribal lines and the economy is in doldrums.”
He described the over 10 000 war veterans who met Mugabe in Harare last week as “fake liberation fighters” after they made “ridiculous demands” and portrayed themselves as “more special than the majority of Zimbabweans”.
The group claimed they deliberately avoided gate-crashing last week’s meeting, alleging there were security details deployed to attack them.
Contacted for comment, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya said: “If they have withdrawn, it’s them who have withdrawn. I don’t know them and I cannot comment on that. I don’t know what they are up to and I cannot comment.”
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo also disowned the group.
“The President was voted by the people in 2013 and that is the only mandate he has until 2018. I don’t understand the import of their statement. What positions do they have because we cannot just listen to anybody? The war veterans have their own leadership and together with their ministry and secretary for defence in the politburo are the ones who met the President. Those ones I don’t know and who cares,” he said.