Mugabe taken down memory lane

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After their first efforts to register their concerns with President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF ended in humiliation with armed police battering and teargassing them in February, war veterans yesterday held their own against the veteran leader telling him point-blank they still had the same fighting spirit which won them the liberation struggle 36 years ago.

by EVERSON MUSHAVA/RICHARD CHIDZA

Robert-Mugabe-worried

The City Sports Centre reverberated not only to liberation war songs, but to ululation and applause as presenters of the various thematic committees took turns to highlight in black and white how Mugabe’s party had neglected them and literally failed to provide direction to the former liberation movement.

They warned of imminent implosion if internal fights continued unabated.

The whole auditorium was decorated with wartime pictures of Mugabe, his late wife Sally and various other late comrades who played a leading role in the struggle. It was more like invoking the spirit of the liberation struggle.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mabel Chinomona rewinded the war years leading in the singing of wartime songs that appeared to take the ex-fighters into some dreamland.

From late master of song Simon Chimbetu’s “Ndarangarira Gamba” to an emotional rendition of “Vapambepfumi Vanonyunyuta Hutongi Hwavakudzokera Kuvaridzi” and “Nyika Yatorwa Nevaeni”, the liberation war fighters seemed to have touched Mugabe to his very core.

Although Mugabe deliberately continued ploughing into the liberation history of the country while ignoring giving answers to the war veterans’ concerns, the former fighters have every reason to feel satisfied with their day’s job.

Throughout their presentations, Mugabe could be seen nodding his head as if agreeing with them as the former combatants breathed fire, claiming they were the vanguard of Zanu PF, the foundation upon which the party was built and would not fold their arms while the organisation staggered towards an abyss.

“War veterans are custodians of the party; when the party is under threat, we are the ones again to restore it to its glory,” former Zanu PF commissariat director Munyaradzi Machacha, who gave a presentation on behalf of the party ideology thematic committee, said, almost bringing down the City Sports Centre that was packed to the brim.

“Enemies started using opposition parties to destroy Zanu PF, and after failing, they have now sent people to infiltrate the party and destroy it from within, but that will not succeed as long as war veterans are there,” Machacha added.

The ex-fighters also demanded that chief coloniser Cecil John Rhodes’s remains that lie at the Matopos Hills near Bulawayo should be exhumed and repatriated to Britain.

The once subdued and tense impoverished war veterans stole the limelight and drove most of their points home, despite Mugabe having told them last week that they were “only affiliate” members of Zanu PF who could not direct the affairs of the party.

They told him point-blank they felt shortchanged by the party’s commissariat under Saviour Kasukuwere, a non-war veteran, and called for the appointment of a representative of the securocrats in his place.

In another twist, Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene sat at the high table along with Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri and axed former minister Webster Shamu, while war veterans chairman Christopher Mutsvangwa, who has become Mugabe’s chief nemesis, and his executive sat in seats reserved for the former Zanla High Command and General Staff directly opposite.

Mugabe’s wife Grace, who was a subject of indirect attack, did not attend the former guerillas’ heated meeting.

18 COMMENTS

  1. These men have all it takes to change zanu.I now believe zanu will never belong to grace.she wont make it.this is the 1st time Mugabe has been dressd down publicly.and also 1st time he has adresd a large crowd that came willingly.very diferent from the one he had at chipadze.I think he is on his way out.

    • True on this,now the really struggle Continue we are not going to allow that woman to tell us what to do in this country

  2. Everyone knows Mugabe never accepts defeat or humiliation lying down. By wasting the only opportunity & failing to take apart Mugabe completely, it was the War vets greatest mistake. Watch this space how Mugabe & G40 are going to finish these guys off

  3. I tend to differ with you VISIONLESS- The war vets will never be finished-the ones who came only represent a fraction-for your own information the departed and their spirits will fight for their GOOD-Tell me WHY DID Amai not come-iwe pane nyaya Apa. Right now vakomana va Mudhara vari busy ku nyatsotereresa zvakataurwa nana MUKOMA.

  4. Don’t deceive yourselves. Mugabe has never lost a battle against anyone. The war vets are the real war losers here. They talked about a lot of nothing. I thought their thematic reports were succinct but alas. Tell me what does this mean?

    “The ex-fighters also demanded that chief coloniser Cecil John Rhodes’s remains that lie at the Matopos Hills near Bulawayo should be exhumed and repatriated to Britain.”

    War veterans coming to discuss the bones of a man dead for over 100 years? This is just silly. I mean even if Cecil bones should really be repatriated, was this the proper platform. You see, when you get an opportunity for debate, express your points clearly without too much anger.

    The war veterans should just have articulated no more than three points which benefit the whole country. In that regard they would have benefited also. I think they should have laid out a strategy like this:
    1. As war veterans we are suffering because of corruption in government and misappropriation of state resources. We therefore demand for:
    a) Zero tolerance to corruption – Mugabe should fire corrupt officials in government, including ministers
    b) Proper use of state resources – Mugabe to immediately look at cutting unnecessary government expenditure. Some notes can be taken from John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania.
    c) Everyone to respect the constitution of Zimbabwe and that of the party – all who do otherwise to be prosecuted.

    The one thing these guys missed is that they should not ask for preferential treatment, that greediness. They should rather demand for an overall improvement in the economy and governance systems to create an enabling environment for everyone to prosper. Why should someone, 36 years after independence, be asking for “school fees” from government” It means you are not yet liberated!!!

  5. Don’t deceive yourselves. Mugabe has never lost a battle against anyone. The war vets are the real war losers here. They talked about a lot of nothing. I thought their thematic reports were succinct but alas. Tell me, what does this mean?

    “The ex-fighters also demanded that chief coloniser Cecil John Rhodes’s remains that lie at the Matopos Hills near Bulawayo should be exhumed and repatriated to Britain.”

    War veterans coming to discuss the bones of a man dead for over 100 years? This is just silly. I mean even if Cecil bones should really be repatriated, was this the proper platform. You see, when you get an opportunity for debate, express your points clearly without too much anger.

    The war veterans should just have articulated no more than three points which benefit the whole country. In that regard they would have benefited also. I think they should have laid out a strategy like this:
    1. As war veterans we are suffering because of corruption in government and misappropriation of state resources. We therefore demand for:
    a) Zero tolerance to corruption – Mugabe should fire corrupt officials in government, including ministers
    b) Proper use of state resources – Mugabe to immediately look at cutting unnecessary government expenditure. Some notes can be taken from John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania.
    c) Everyone to respect the constitution of Zimbabwe and that of the party – all who do otherwise to be prosecuted.

    The one thing these guys missed is that they should not ask for preferential treatment, that’s greediness. They should rather demand for an overall improvement in the economy and governance systems to create an enabling environment for everyone to prosper, them included. Why should someone, 36 years after independence, be asking for “school fees” from government”? It means you are not yet liberated!!!

  6. I am with bob on this one. Every right thinking Zimbo should commend him. What he is trying to do is to dismantle the mentality of entitlement of the vets. He knows the party cannot be sustained by g40 when he is gone so he has a plan to level the playing field to allow the country to develop when he is gone. Not many of the vets were actually members of zanu when they crossed boarders. They went as zimbabweans to fight for the country. They should therefore be neutral to safeguard their legacy. If they play partisan politics bob will simply tell them that he was one of founding members in 1963 and cannot be told what to do by people who only crossed the boarder in the late 70s. after all the war was not won and we only got independence through bobs oratory and negotiating skills at lancaster. The vets want to sound as if they were in daily battles with the regime yet it was mostly hide and seek and a lot of them cannot count even 5 battles they were involved in. Bob is aware of this and will tell them if they push too hard.

    • The war vets are copying the mentality of entitlement from none other than Bob himself. Never take sides in a fight between a lion and a leopard, Nhekwe. Once they stop fighting they go after you!

    • Nhekwe, when say you are with Bob on the issue of entitlement, don’t you realise that it is a culture whose seeds were sowed and nurtured by Bob himself? He also has a sense of entitlement and takes, takes, and takes from us while giving nothing but poverty back.

      I disagree with the reporter for saying the held their own. Absolutely not. They are infact the reason why the democratic project never took off. When you get people like Machacha latching onto the paranoid refrain about opposition parties it shows the primitive mentality of these people. They say nothing about the sorry state of the country.

      If they were capable of holding their own they would have questioned how Rex Nhongo died and why Mugabe did not allow an independent post mortem. How come they are now crying foul over the undemocratic manner in which those aligned to Mnangagwa are being hounded out of the party when the same method was used against Joice Mujuru and her supporters and they were okay with it.

      These guys have been a key cog in the violent machinery of Zanu p.f. that has kept the people of this country captive. How can they justify a 20% share of every indigenisation deal? Who are these people because they are certainly not a force for good in this country. It is disgusting for a group that fought for equality to then seek to be put on a pedestal.

  7. From the onset, I knew well that the much anticipated meeting was a mere factional showdown whose agenda had no public interest at heart, and it came out to be. Without fear of contradiction, we can’t build the country on war narratives and inapplicable negative political ideologies. Neither can we live in history while other nations make great strides in the political and socio-economic fields. Everything takes place for a season. The war vets and the ruling party have played their part and the greatest they can do is to give a democratic space for other parties with divergent views to express themselves freely and allow the people to make their choices with no undue influence. Its unfair to keep holding the country to ransom with colonial mindsets in the 21st century. Give the country a chance to rejuvenate politically and economically. This does not mean that your legacy will be distorted. We appreciate your role but its beyond reasonable doubts that things are now getting out of hand. Hiding behind the truth will not save the otherwise deterioriating situation.

  8. Hmmm. Angizwisisi mina la. Why is there a ZANLA high table? Why does someone speak of bones of a person who died a long time ago and is a tourist attraction? whilst I don’t condone colonialism, exhuming those bones will not do anything to the economy. Instead, we would have chased away researchers and visitors / tourists. Asazi

  9. ” the same fighting spirit which won them the liberation struggle 36 years ago.” They did not win the liberation struggle. After the ceasefire there was a negotiated settlement, nobody won the war itself.

    The war vets make demands that only benefit themselves. If the country was well run everybody would benefit and so they should demand that the country be run well.

    Also have they ever thought what would happen when Zanu PF power. It’s no longer far fetched to think of that now with Zanu deeply divided and Mugabe in his sunset years.

    • “War is a continuation of politics by other means” it is rarely concluded in the battle field, mainly because it never starts in the battle field anyway, but in the failure of opposing groups to resolve their differences in peace. They then go to war in the battlefield to square-up until conditions are ripe for both sides to return to the negotiating table in order to end the war. Therefore at the negotiating table at Lancaster House, Zimbabwe got her independence owing to the effort of the war veterans who bit the Rhodesians to submission in the face of Ian Smith’s famous “Not in a Thousand Years”. My fellow countryman, what an insult to you brothers and sisters who left all the comfort of their families, sacrificed everything to liberate all of us. That as a nation we have failed to achieve prosperity as a liberated country cannot be blamed on these people alone, it is a collective failure by all Zimbabweans. Someone once said “to most of your problems you also have a contribution”.

  10. I e­­­arn 2­­­5 do­­­llars e­­­very 28 mi­­­nut­­­es. Wo­­­rk f­­­or fe­­­w ho­­­urs a­­­nd ha­­­ve l­­­ong­­­er ti­­­me wi­­­th fr­­­iend­­­s an­­­d f­­­ami­­­ly. ­­­ch­­­eck it o­­­ut th­­­is li­­­nk fo­­­r de­­­tails.­­­….Its original site…VBG003

    > w­w­w.p­a­y­a­b­i­l­i­t­y­7­0.c­o­m

  11. ma warvets r a useless bunch of cowards.saka ndozamaupaumbira kubva muna february pamakarohwa ne teargas izvozvo.hanti maiti hee we want a meeting ne bob toda kumuudza dzizare.manje mapfupa a rhodes ndookumudza kwacho.nxa

  12. Dont be philosophically daft, liberators are not like school children they represent this part of humanity. Their language and actions deeply provoke the core of our ideological conscience. Their demands therefore provoke the state and its executive arm to morally act in unison of purpose against resurgence of perenial national security threats, foreign and internal.

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