ZANU PF provincial chairpersons drawn from the country’s 10 provinces yesterday held a crisis meet ing in Harare and plotted the ouster of all war veterans, who last week denounced President Robert Mugabe and vowed not to back his candidature in the 2018 presidential race.
by XOLISANI NCUBE/KENNETH NYANGANI
This came as relations between the former freedom fighters and the ruling party have hit an all-time low following a war veterans meeting held in Harare last Thursday where the ex-combatants denounced the Zanu PF leader as a dictator.
Addressing a Press briefing at the party headquarters yesterday, Midlands deputy provincial chairperson Daniel Mackenzie Ncube said the “errant” war veterans who turned their back on Mugabe should be summarily dismissed from the party, describing their actions as treasonous.
“We call upon the party to immediately take decisive action against those implicated in the authoring and distribution of the communiqué, including those who sponsored the gathering with financial and other resources,” he said after a closed-door meeting also attended by provincial commissars, national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, women’s league deputy secretary Eunice Sandi-Moyo and youth league deputy secretary Kudzanai Chipanga.
“We condemn in the strongest of terms the reckless statement including those who authored this treasonous document. Our concern is with the substance and form of the statement, which impugns the person and Office of the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and patron of the war veterans.”
But the war veterans insist they cannot be expelled from the party they formed and are resisting attempts to force them to elect another chairman in the wake of Christopher Mutsvangwa’s expulsion from Zanu PF.
At their Thursday meeting, the war veterans issued a damning communiqué, accusing Mugabe of dumping them and embracing party youths to drive his re-election campaign. They also accused the 92-year-old Zanu PF leader of digressing from the party’s founding principles and privatising it.
The meeting came as, Kasukuwere last Friday warned that Zanu PF would repossess all commercial farms allocated to war veterans linked to the meeting that denounced Mugabe’s dictatorial tendencies last week.
Addressing thousands of party supporters in Rusape, Kasukuwere said they would take farms of outspoken former freedom fighters and subdivide the land into residential stands for the benefit of “loyal youths”.
Already in Masvingo province, Zanu PF youths are targeting a sugarcane plot owned by war veterans’ political commissar Francis Nhando.
“There is no discussion over our President. He was elected by the people, we will never be intimidated by anyone and we never panic,” Kasukuwere said.
“There are people holding Press conferences against our President Robert Mugabe and next time we are going to do our Press conference at your farms.
“There are also civil servants who want to go on strike, but you want to go on strike while you know you have a farm.”
He said he had a list of farms they were targeting and would stop at nothing to repossess them.
Zanu PF Manicaland youth chairman Mubuso Chinguno accused the Ministry of Lands of not transferring land to the Local Government ministry for residential purposes.
“Minister (Kasukuwere), we are worried that the Ministry of Lands is failing to give land. We do not have adequate land here in Manicaland because they are failing to give you (Kasukuwere) the land,” he said.
Zanu PF is parcelling out residential stands to party youths ahead of the 2018 elections, a move critics have condemned as a vote buying gimmick.