VETERANS of the country’s liberation struggle will mid-next month hold a make-or-break indaba that they say could result in a break-away group from Zanu PF.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said the conference, to be held at Gwanzura Stadium on November 18, would also bring together liberation war collaborators, children of war veterans as well as “our wives”.
While Mahiya insisted there would be no splinter political party, indications point to the contrary.
“We are taking away the PF (Patriotic Front) part of Zanu PF. We want to leave Zanu G40 and take away the section of our party that has nothing to do with these people. This indaba is unique in that all war collaborators and any other people who assisted with the war effort as well as their children are invited,” he said.
“All things being equal, there will be trains from Bulawayo and Mutare to Harare to transport people. Everyone who fought in the liberation struggle, let us meet and discuss before the bread is taken away from our mouths.”
President Robert Mugabe’s relationship with the ex-fighters has hit an all-time low, as differences on how to deal with the ruling party’s contentious succession issue worsen.
Sections of the country’s security services as well as the war veterans have thrown their lot with Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, but the G40 faction, bitterly opposed to the VP’s bid, is fighting to stop him.
The G40 group is, instead, pushing for Mnangagwa’s expulsion and the elevation of a woman or Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi into the presidium at the extraordinary congress set for December.
Mahiya seemed to indicate the gathering would bring together people opposed to Mugabe’s rule, of which the war veterans have become a recent addition.
“We are inviting everyone who agrees with us that a group of individuals going by the name G40 have captured our country. This includes everyone who was expelled from the party in recent years and even those that were victimised and fired during the liberation struggle. Even those of our citizens in the country’s opposition are invited,” he said.
Mahiya said Mugabe, who has been patron of the ZNLWVA for decades, was unwelcome to the meeting.
He said they would soon notify police of the meeting, which had been initially scheduled for November 3.