11 October 2017

Zimbabwe: War Vets - Mugabe, Wife Misguided

Photo: New Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe and Grace Mugabe cartoon.

The attacks on embattled Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa and ousted war veterans Minister Tshinga Dube are not only directed at the two but all war veterans, the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association (ZLWVA) said Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference in Harare, ZLWVA Secretary General, Victor Matemadanda, said both President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace could not claim control of the former freedom fighters and Zanu PF, saying war veterans went to war on their own volition and did not go to join individuals.

He said statements by President Mugabe that war veterans who were still serving in the army did not have any role in the ruling Zanu PF were misguided.

"The attacks on Vice President Mnangagwa and Cde Tshinga Dube are not just directed to the two but are aimed at the totality of war veterans. We know they will also try to disturb the army structures but they cannot disturb the history that we created," he said.

Matemadanda insisted that it was war veterans who persuaded the masses to agree to support the armed struggle, adding they had not fought the war for the so-called first family to enjoy while the majority of Zimbabweans wallowed in poverty.

He said no one, including President Mugabe, owned Zanu PF as the party belonged to ZIPRA and ZANLA and the majority of Zimbabweans.

"No person has the authority to say he or she owns Zanu PF. They can own Zanu Mwenje or any other Zanu, but Zanu PF belongs to everyone. If anyone thinks the can take Zanu PF from us they are joking.

"When President Mugabe says war veterans or freedom fighters who are still serving in the army have no role in Zanu PF I would not say he is lying; but that he has forgotten what we agreed that the gun shall free the people and guard the vote."

Matemadanda said President Mugabe was being misled by First Lady Grace, who he said was only 10 years old when he (President Mugabe) signed a social contract with the people.

He said the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led executive was the legitimate leadership of the former freedom fighters and could not be dissolved at a rally by an individual.

"Rallies have substituted the duty of parliament and government. We have also seen the usurpation of executive powers by political figures at rallies and decisions that are supposed to be made by courts being made at rallies," he said.

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