Zimbabwe: ZDF Okays War Veterans' Rally

Damien Glez of This is Africa on developments in Zimbabwe.
18 November 2017

THE Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police yesterday cleared a rally by citizens across the political divide led by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association against President Mugabe's continued stay in office as they urged the public to be peaceful and orderly.

In a statement yesterday, the ZDF urged members of the public to be orderly and peaceful, and exercise their rights within the confines of the country's Constitution when they attend the rally scheduled for the historic Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, Harare,

"Resonating with one of our operational thrusts relating to freedom of expression and movement, we have been approached by numerous Private Volunteer Organisations (PVOs) seeking to freely move and express their desires, one of such being a solidarity march planned for Harare Grounds, Highfield, on November 18, 2017.

"We wish to advise the nation that for as long as the planned march remains orderly, peaceful and in tandem with the fundamental Bill of Rights and within the confines of our Constitution and without hate speech and incitement to cause violence, we fully support the march," said ZDF. The ZDF also said steady progress had been made and that there had been no variation at all from the ZDF's original objectives to weed out criminal elements around President Mugabe.

"Contrary to certain media reports which we believe are being generated by some of the culprits we are yet to apprehend, we further advise that the operation remains solid. Therefore, the nation is requested to be patient. Meanwhile, we commend the business communities who have responded overwhelmingly to a call to normalise socio-economic effects to our people by adopting realistic prices. We therefore wish to express our solidarity and a drive towards a peaceful, united, investor-friendly and prosperous Zimbabwe. Let us all make it happen," read the statement.

The ZRP, on the other hand, cleared the ZNLWVA rally at Zimbabwe Grounds. A letter from Officer Commanding Harare South District Chief Superintendent Nyaumwe said they had enough personnel to provide security at the event and urged the organisers of the event to provide mobile toilets for people attending the rally.

The ZNLWA today holds a rally at Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare to call for the resignation of President Mugabe following the intervention by the military to weed out corrupt elements in the party and the Government it informs. The ZDF intervened on Tuesday to weed out corrupt elements behind the political and socio-economic challenges confronting the nation.

Addressing a press conference yesterday, ZNLWVA chairman Cde Chris Mutsvangwa urged President Mugabe to leave office immediately.

"We are there to rekindle hope for Zimbabweans that is what we are here for and from a very practical angle he makes a decision today to leave, it is upon him to make it and his wife under the terms which he should negotiate with the Generals. Tomorrow (Saturday) is different, we have a rally which we had long in planning, it is there tomorrow starting in the morning at Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield.

"We are appealing to the population of Zimbabwe to come to that rally. He used to go around with his insulting rallies which he called 'interfaces' were the wife was carrying out diatribes one rally after the other was an occasion of diatribes and other insults left, right and centre. He thought he had people. Tomorrow he is going to see who has the people. So we are appealing to all Zimbabweans tomorrow to come to Zimbabwe Grounds," he said.

Cde Mutsvangwa urged President Mugabe to urgently pack his bags. "I hope by the time the multitude which is coming tomorrow has gathered, he would have made his decision of accepting the terms of quickly leaving the country. If he does not, then we will settle the scores tomorrow. There is no constituency in Zimbabwe more sovereign than the people of Zimbabwe and this is the constituency which Sadc will respect because their decision on the ground is final," said Cde Mutsvangwa.

Cde Mutsvangwa said the rally was non-partisan, adding people should not come wearing party regalia. He urged the President to leave in line with conditions set by the ZDF to prevent further plunder of the country's resources. The war veterans leader called for peace during today's rally.

"We are appealing to the people who are coming tomorrow, we want Zimbabweans to be as disciplined as they always have been - legendary discipline, no violence, no looting. We just want to show who we are and the direction will come from there. We want marshals who will make sure that this is organised.

"The way our army has carried out this judicious military intervention that is exactly what we want tomorrow. You must take example from the way the ZNA are doing their things, discipline tomorrow," he said. Cde Mutsvangwa thanked Zimbabweans for the manner they have conducted themselves since the ZDF's intervention.

"I want to salute the population of Zimbabwe, you have remained disciplined, and people thought that you were docile, you are not docile. You suffered so much. You are very measured in your analysis of risk but once you go beyond a certain point with the Zimbabwe population they will make you answer the bill. Between now and tomorrow we are giving a stark warning to (President) Mugabe, his wife and anybody willing to associate with him that the game is done, it is finished. We won't allow this to go further," he said.

Meanwhile, Zanu-PF Manicaland Province was yesterday mobilising buses to transport people to attend the rally. The province expects to use 10 buses.

List of Speakers for the Solidarity March


1. Traditional Leaders

2. Churches

3. Civil Society

4. Legal Fraternity

5. Business Community Representatives

6. Political Party Representatives

7. Student Community

8. Workers

9. War Veterans, War Collaborators, War Restrictees

10. Civil Servants

11. Farmers

12. Media

13. Doctors and Nurses

14. Youth

15. Women

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