The war between President Robert Mugabe and war veterans continues to escalate, with the former fighters demanding that the veteran leader severs ties with G40 if he ever to entertains any hope of working with them again.
By Richard Chidza/Nunurai Jena
War veterans’ chairperson, Christopher Mutsvangwa told NewsDay in an interview after a meeting of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) in Masvingo at the weekend that only after Mugabe ditches G40 would his group start working with him again.
“We seek and are quite eager to find common ground with HE (His Excellency) so long the indulgence by the party to egregious G40 antics are dispensed with. We want our old and usual Zanu PF he used to properly and fairly lead back again,” he said.
There is no love lost between Mugabe and the war veterans, with the former fighters announcing they had ditched the veteran leader as their patron.
For many years, the war veterans, now fighting in Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s corner in the Zanu PF succession race, have been the bedrock of Mugabe’s continued hold on power and their fresh demand is likely to put him in a corner, with reports that his wife, First Lady Grace Mugabe is linked to G40.
“We will not lend our precious political capital to those who will be corruptly imposed by the G40 and their cohorts. As revolutionaries, we detest electoral defeats,” Mutsvangwa said.
He called on Zanu PF to dispense “with the cry baby shenanigans of the unpatriotic, corrupt, thieving and plundering and dishonest G40 led by Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere”.
“We are naturally jealous of our impeccable credentials and we will not watch as it is soiled by G40, particularly when their hands stray into rapacious pillage of public funds,” Mutsvangwa said.
However, he said his outfit would continue to work with the military, Central Intelligence Organisation, Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zimbabwe Prison Services.
He said their relationship with the security establishments was being destroyed by G40, “as they blithely and profess profane and fake loyalty to Mugabe”.
Douglas Mahiya, the ZNLWVA spokesperson, weighed in, saying their relationship with Mugabe was untenable, saying it would be difficult to work together due to their divergent views.
“If the current patron (Mugabe) reverts back to the person we knew and revered, then there is a chance he could be appointed ceremonial president (of the war veterans). If not, then tough luck, there is no way we can work with him,” he said.
Meanwhile, war veterans, who gathered in Chinhoyi yesterday, backed the expelled leadership of Mutsvangwa and called for the firing of some corrupt ministers, naming Moyo and Kasukuwere.
But secretary for war veterans in the Zanu PF politburo, Sydney Sekeramayi pleaded with the former guerrillas, saying they should wait for the law to take its course, much to their chagrin.
The former freedom fighters from Harare, Mashonaland West and Central provinces made their intentions clear from the start of the meeting, booing the War Veterans ministry permanent secretary, Walter Tapfumaneyi during introductions.
They took turns to blast Tapfumaneyi, accusing him of being corrupt and neglecting their welfare.
“We are sick and tired of being told that the government has no money when you read that the same senior government officials are stealing money. No, we have been lied to many times,” a war veteran identified as Parirenyatwa said.
The former combatants also threatened to withhold their support from Zanu PF in the 2018 elections, saying the party will lose if the stand-off continues.