WAR veterans’ leader, Christopher Mutsvangwa has described President Robert Mugabe as a two-faced leader, who has lost his moral compass due to his association with a faction of the ruling party known as G40.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
In a statement, buoyed by declarations made by War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube, indicating he was still the bona fide leader of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) until a proper congress decides otherwise, Mutsvangwa said Mugabe needs to retrace his roots and re-establish a connection with the liberation ideology.
“We argue that, as things now stand in Zanu PF, the presidency now has two faces. The original Mugabe was selected by the founding army through the Mgagao Declaration of 1975 to replace our venerated chairman, (Herbert) Chitepo, who created Zanla (Zanu’s wartime military wing),” Mutsvangwa said.
A former Cabinet minister and expelled Zanu PF politburo member, Mutsvangwa said that Mugabe led the successful prosecution of the liberation struggle, but had somehow lost his way in the maze of a vicious power struggle that could be a body blow to the veteran leader’s legacy.
“Of late, (Higher and Tertiary Education minister) Jonathan Moyo and his G40 cohorts have been fashioning and peddling their own face of Mugabe. He is an anti-democratic despot, who shreds his party constitution as he expels seasoned and well-meaning youthful cadres,” the former Zanu PF MP for Norton said.
Mutsvangwa was kicked out of Zanu PF on allegations of demeaning Mugabe, while pushing for Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa take over from the ageing leader. Mnangagwa has, however, faced stiff resistance from the G40 faction that instead seems to be pushing for First Lady Grace Mugabe to take over from her ailing husband.
With Zimbabwe groaning under the weight of runaway corruption, the war veterans’ leader said Mugabe had allowed wilful plunder of State assets by those who feign loyalty to him. He accused the Zanu PF strongman of “condoning kleptocratic malfeasance and going all out to protect the perpetrators”.
“He abandons his duty to develop the nation. Instead, there is economic atrophying, with every index of social welfare showing negative, to the extent that typhoid and other waterborne diseases now stalk the nation and claim lives,” Mutsvangwa said.
Moyo is under investigation for reportedly defrauding the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund of over $400 000.
Critics claim Moyo is being shielded from possible prosecution by Mugabe and the Zanu PF leader seems to give credence to these claims after reportedly stopping officials from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) from arresting Moyo during a politburo meeting last year. Mugabe also established a Zanu PF ad-hoc committee to investigate Zacc, a constitutional body.
Zanu PF political commissar and a strong Moyo ally, Saviour Kasukuwere, refused to comment on the matter.
“I don’t talk of expelled people,” he said.
Mugabe’s relationship with war veterans has hit an all-time low in the past year or so, with the former freedom fighters issuing a damning communiqué in July last year describing Mugabe as a “genocidal and manipulative leader”.
In response, Mugabe expelled Mutsvangwa and leading figures in his ZNLWVA executive before frog-marching them to court on accusations of undermining his rule.