Mugabe threatens ‘Gukurahundi’

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday threw down the gauntlet and told war veterans they have no legal or moral standing to dictate who should succeed him.

By Everson Mushava

Mnangagwa giving a vote of thanks at the opening of the congres Pic Shepherd Tozvireva

Officially opening a meeting of the Zanu PF central committee in Harare, Mugabe threatened punitive action against the war veterans’ top leadership, which has thrown their lot with Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and has lately been pushing the veteran politician to name a successor.

In an emotionally-charged speech, the 92-year-old leader described war veterans as “dissidents” for threatening bloodshed should Mnangagwa fail to land the country’s top post.

Mugabe said war veterans should stick to their role of lobbying for the welfare of the former fighters and stop trying to direct the party’s succession plan.

“We don’t want to see another rise of dissident activity. I say no to the war veterans’ association that does not know its mandate,” he thundered.

“It is not your function to talk of who should succeed the President or, worse still, threaten that unless what you want is fulfilled, there shall be bloodshed.

“Bloodshed? You want to shed blood again? That will not be allowed and steps will be taken against them.”

The latest fallout between Mugabe and war veterans signifies a major paradigm shift as the latter had consistently campaigned for him in the previous elections.

Mugabe now seems to have realised that war veterans are a spent force and would rather have his 2018 election campaign led by youths and the women’s league.

He said the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association was formed for the welfare of all veterans.

“That is its primary objective, which we have since given greater validity by creating a whole ministry to serve them,” he said.

“It is, thus, with utmost consternation that we see attempts at turning this welfare organisation into a pressure group against the party. That cannot be allowed.

“Nor would it be proper for anyone to use this welfare body as a platform for attacking the top leadership, or for seeking to direct party processes in a certain direction preferred by some individuals.

“To do so would amount to going the way of the dissidents.

“Dissident activities cannot be allowed to continue when they were ended in December 1987 when Cde Joshua Nkomo and I put our hearts together and said never shall this happen again.

“The war veterans’ association was formed to cater for the welfare of war veterans and not to champion politics.

“Dissidents tried it and you know what happened,” the President said, raising the spectre of the Gukurahundi massacres, when a crack army unit was deployed to Matabeleland and Midlands to ostensibly crush insurgents, but was accused of gross human rights abuses and genocide.

“Those dissidents were war veterans too. No, war veterans, that is not your function. It’s not your business to choose who should succeed and who should not, worse doing so under the pretext that there would be bloodshed if your preferred person doesn’t succeed. You want to shed blood? That is dissident behaviour and we will not allow it. Steps are going to be taken.”

About 20 000 civilians were killed in the Matabeleland and Midlands regions in the 1980s following the deployment of the North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade allegedly to “thwart a dissident movement” in a genocide now commonly referred to as Gukurahundi.

Mugabe said although he respected war veterans and the sacrifices they made during the struggle, he would not tolerate a situation where they wanted to control Zanu PF.

He said it was always agreed during the struggle that the gun would not lead politics and that Zanu PF organs should co-ordinate in order to achieve electoral success.

“Given that kind of superlative performance, the sequel should subsist in more programmes that propel the party to higher heights, surely? What is this discordance we now hear from certain quarters? No, war veterans’ association leadership, no! The hallmark of a trained cadre is discipline, impeccable discipline. The hallmark of a trained cadre is steadfast knowledge of the party line. Yes, the hallmark of a genuinely trained cadre is a firm sense of station and hierarchy,” Mugabe said.

War veterans last week met in Gweru and resolved that Mnangagwa was the second most senior party member and should be named as Mugabe’s successor.

The Zanu PF leader also chastised the former freedom fighters for publicly denigrating Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko by labelling him a war deserter.

“Those persons are appointed by the president and first secretary of the party and, thus, carry about them the weight of the appointing authority. We expect that to be respected by all and sundry, unless there are other motives and intentions,” he said.

“So let us all build on the stupendous gains we made through the million-man march, itself a fitting climax to our resounding electoral victory of 2013.”

War veterans’ spokesperson Douglas Mahiya yesterday refused to comment, saying he would respond today after gathering more information regarding Mugabe’s statements.

Mugabe also assured party members that the current cash squeeze, which he blamed on the commodification of the United States dollar, would soon end with the introduction of the bond notes which he described as “surrogate currency”.

“As I address you, cash shortages are being felt across the board by our people, who cannot easily access their savings or earnings. But this is a temporary problem, which should be behind us sooner,” he said.

Mugabe added that the ultimate aim was to reintroduce the local currency.

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24 Comments

  1. Shayadzamugabe

    The vampire, blood monger is at it again. Bob never ceases to amaze me. Surely at that age, he still feels threatened. Katinetsa kachikwambo aka. Shaya kuita sedzedhongi, kachiita nharo dzekuramba karipachigaro. Fed up!

  2. My first job out of High School was at St Paul and over the next 5 years Iearned so very much. Seeing the hospital torn down tears a small piece of my heart out. The Daughters of Charity and the doctors and staff of St Paul Hospital will always be with me……
    ——————– ◐◐◐◐◐◐◐◐◐◐ w­w­w.f­a­c­t­o­r­y­o­f­i­n­c­o­m­e.­c­o­­m

  3. Robert Gabriel Mugodoyi

    Kulenja le umgodoyi umkhenkethi umgaxa okuthwa nguMugabe!Nxa kulamasupporter akhe abala la just know sikhona thina abanye esimzondayo umgodyi

  4. There you go straight from the horse’s mouth; “introduction of the local currency ultimately” thus the bond notes.

    1. Yes, in black and white!

  5. Step down Mugabe this country belongs to us rest of Zimbabwe. You are living a lavish life and you think things are the same left right center of Zimbabwe. We are tired of this capitalist government which does not guarantee its promises. Give the younger generation the chance to bring the economy to status quo. This old age government is doing nothing but getting richer and benefits taking advantage of the poor. the distribution of wealth is unequal. Tarwadziwa MUgabe woye relieve us from this hard life.

  6. Wezhira wezhara

    Whether you like it or not you are going Robert. You are a fool who still dreams that he is in control, NO. Your family will die in Singapore and this is the beginning. Isu veZanu PF we say GO AWAY we no longer need you. I urge people to form vigilance groups to beat up these youths whom he intents to use. Buy enough jerry cans for petrol and we shall burn down those bases in 2017. Bring on the election campaigns.

    1. @Wezhira wezhara do not lie you are not Zanu at all, who do you want to fool?

  7. Vamwe takanyara zvedu,hazvirevi kuti tirimarema aaaaaah,zvanyanya izvi:-)
    Gidi nhasi harichina kukosha,rakaunza kuguta kwamurikuita uku,are you sure vaMugabe?

    Handeyi tichaona kuti muchasvika papi ne ma statements aya!

  8. Hapana zvaari kutaura apa. He is finished of age. Since when has politics preceded the gun in Zanupf? He, Mugabe and his erstwhile military minions are on recording saying exactly the opposite of the MDC, namely that the gun is mightier than the vote (politics/civilians). What has changed about that misguided principle? He is a chameleon, albeit a finished one.

  9. Beware the ides of March

    1. Yes, the long-knives are being sharpened! But Mutsvangwa and crew have nothing to lose now other than to fight tool and nail to death. Let it come!

  10. Christopher Mutsvangwa will never learn.The next step is expulsion from Zanu PF

  11. Viola Gwena whr are yu.editor plz dont bar viola.G40 have pulled strings on yu editor.
    Or is it mdc.

  12. some leaders have outlived their purposes…running our country like their estate & they speak as if they’re the only ones who fought for this country,kuita sezvinonci nyika yakarwirwa first family yega…..sekuru mangova a shadow of what u used to be,hazvichambotishamisa kana mukamuka makafa

  13. All you people just lie to yourselves if any demonstration is called for you wont be anywhere near it. Zimbos too idealistic for nothing . Cowards tibvirei apa kunyengerana nhema munokadii kamudhara ikaka . Zamai tione kushinga kwacho kana maWar Pfutseke vanhu vamungatemba navo ivava vanodirwa mvura vachidona ibvai apa

  14. Zvavawana ma war vets ndopavaperera apa Mugabe avaudza pfungwa dzake kuti ma dissidents nokuti Ava nema dzimai vana mahoka nana chimene Neva fanha vana chipanga vaava kusevenzesa kkkkk kuuraya kwa vaiita vanhu ve MDC kuti Mugabe atonge vachatongwa nazvo Mugabe haachineyi ne ma dissidents kkkkk

  15. its even difficult to choose a side here, both sides are spent forces way beyond expiry date

  16. Mugabe tavebho newe …… Kurwa hondo hakuchashamisiri makaita basa takazviona.chipaiwo vamwe mukana bcoz nyika yashata iyi. LORD please help us. Dai hondo yacho yakaitwa in 2000 taingoirwawo saka hapana nyaya.

  17. Ukanzwa bucket remwura rakunyanya kurema ziva kuti wakusvika pamba

  18. Hahaha ndi Truth we truth chaiye here uyo kkkkk

  19. I do not think these words can be spoken by President. We tired of blood shed we saw it inocent civilians died for nothing and now Mugabe you want to drink onother blood it has been long time you without drinking our blood you are now thirsty again but this time our almighty God will prove wrong we will only drink your own blood under the heavy soil sand , Instead of you as Leader to adress all these isues like a leader you are talking foolish things mind you the whole world is listerning to your speaches that you are threatening people with bloodshed but do you think you are going to win in doing so,but i do not think what you did in the past will ever happen again to our nation now your time is over.

  20. the wulfric geek

    this life ehhhh so many things taking place……I personally I have learnt to pray and pray all the time..its pointless to point fingers we not perfect so why blame someone when you can’t do the job yourself,……. if u can then I pray for u to make a difference and stop crying over the status quo

  21. This time hatichatyi. tichamamisana chete. Umwe achaita hwaGadaafi chete tichimuzvuva paroad. farisai muchidaro henyu. munofgunga kuti ucharamba muchiteura ropa revamwe kusvika rini? One day is one day. zvichakupfukira Matibili Masuzyo.

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