|10. June 2016
Mugabe threatens war veterans
President Robert Mugabe has threatened to take severe action against disparaging veterans of the 1970s liberation war, likening their behaviour as that of dissidents.
The warning, at a Central Committee meeting in Harare, Thursday, follows recent resolutions by ex-combatants in which they declared that only Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was suitable to succeed him.
Currently, there is a nasty war raging between two factions – Team Lacoste (rooting for Mnangagwa) and Generation 40, which is reportedly against Team Lacoste’s plans.
Members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), who are openly supporting Mnangagwa, recently gathered in Gweru where they resolved that there would be bloodshed if Mnangagwa’s succession plan is to be frustrated.
But President Mugabe warned that stern measures would be taken against the former freedom fighters for their shenanigans. “The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association was formed to cater for the welfare of our veterans. This was its primary objective which we have since given greater validity by creating a whole ministry to serve them. 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. It was not formed to champion politics. Dissidents tried it, they were war veterans too, and you know what happened,” he chillingly warned.
“No war veterans association, that is not your function, it is not your business to choose who should succeed and who should not, worse doing so under the pretext that there will be bloodshed if our 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,” he further said in his rebuke.
He flatly told them to leave alone political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, ICT secretary, Jonathan Moyo, Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister, MandiChimene and her Bulawayo opposite Number, Eunice Sandi Moyo, whom they had said should be expelled from the party. “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 them to be respected by all and sundry, unless there are other motives and intentions,” he said.
(Financial Gazette, Harare)