16 November 2017

Zimbabwe: War Vets Hint At Government of National Unity

Zimbabwe could be heading into another unity government following the bloodless military coup which brought to an end President Robert Mugabe's 37-year rule.

According to the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) secretary general Victor Matemadanda the possibility of a unity government is high.

"We anticipate a situation of inclusivity going forward. As far as we are concerned no one political party can solve the country's problems so all political parties must accept what has happened and help with efforts to restore normalcy," Matemadanda told a press conference in Harare Wednesday.

Sources said a coalition government akin to the one Mugabe had with opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai could be brewing.

"There is a possibility that the military will push for (fired Vice President Emmerson) Mnangagwa to be reinstated and allow him to come up with an arrangement in which Tsvangirai will be Prime minister once again," said a source.

A coalition arrangement could result in the abortion of elections constitutionally expected next year with registration of voters currently underway. The military leadership has not said anything about elections thus far.

Mugabe was forced into a government of national unity with Tsvangirai after an inconclusive first round of voting in March 2008 and a blood-spattered run-off the following June that was rejected by the opposition and regional leaders.

Mugabe 93, triggered his demise after axing long-time lieutenant Mnangagwa last week as he sought to pave way for the elevation of his wife First Lady Grace to succeed him.

However, things turned pear-shaped for the former guerrilla leader when the army turned on him.

With events a virtual moving target in Harare since the military takeover sources close to the group now in charge of the country said the soldiers had no clear plan.

"They are looking at all possibilities. Mugabe pushed them, but initially they did not want to seize power. He left them with no option. Now they are exploring all options," said an insider.

"The group in charge comprises of over hundred generals whose umbilical cord is the liberation struggle. Mugabe in their view had either sold out or had become too old to the extent that he was no longer in-charge of things".

War veterans have described the military takeover of power as long overdue, saying the country risked capture by a faction within Zanu PF determined to introduce a dynasty.

Addressing a press conference in Harare Tuesday Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) secretary general Victor Matemadanda said a Commission of Inquiry must be set up to investigate why President Robert Mugabe.

Matemadanda also demanded the recall of Mugabe as State president. The 93-year-old leader is currently under house arrest at his private Harare home.

"Mugabe must be put to task on why he did not give regard to report by expelled vice president Emerson Mnangagwa read in the politburo," said Matemadanda.

"Kudzi Chipanga (Zanu PF Youth secretary) must be brought to book for declaring war on the army while Mugabe is also guilty for not reprimanding him."

Matemadanda's war veterans group was been expelled from the ruling Zanu PF party for openly backing Mnangagwa as successor to Mugabe.

The war veterans' secretary general added that Zanu PF's Central Committee must convene to realign the party's constitution and deal with the women's wing led by Grace Mugabe which "had become bigger than the main wing".

Matemadanda went on to demand that all expelled ruling party members must be restored at the December party congress.

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