26 June 2019

Zimbabwe: War Vets Back Zanu-PF Youth League Siege On 'Corrupt' Party Leaders

Photo: Kudakwashe Hunda/The Herald
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association leaders (file photo).

As temperatures threaten to boil over in President Emmerson Mnangagwa's Zanu PF party, veterans of the country's liberation struggle have thrown their weight behind a controversial crusade by the ruling party's youth league to kick out corrupt top officials.

Ministers Jorum Gumbo and Priscah Mupfumira, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya and Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu were the most prominent names identified by the youth league as part of those behind the country's economic chaos.

Zanu PF politburo secretary for war veterans and spokesperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association Douglas Mahiya told NewZimbabwe.com in an exclusive interview that the ruling party needs to root out corruption within its rank and file.

"Corruption is a weapon of mass destruction. Right now my mother in Buhera cannot buy bread and that is because of corruption. It is important for us as war veterans to support the President (Mnangagwa) in whatever he is doing.

"If the corruption is to start ticking again corruption must be fought in Zanu PF, the (opposition) MDC, in the public sector as well as the private sector," said Mahiya.

"The people who are involved in corruption must go."

Mpofu has, according to sources, been barred from accessing his office since Tuesday.

The youth league on Tuesday threatened to lock Mpofu and other leaders out of their offices "until they cleanse themselves."

Mahiya said there was no need for those fingered in corruption to wait for their day in court.

"You don't have to wait for a court to convict you in order to resign. Perceptions matter and the court of public opinion is the highest court in the land," the war veterans spokesperson said.

Mahiya said war veterans were the first to call for corrupt officials to resign.

"The youth league is picking up ideas by the war veterans. Even before the new dispensation, you will remember that at the time when we were under siege from the previous government.

"We were clear that corruption was at the centre of our problems and we must start at the party level like the youth league said. We need to look ourselves in the mirror and make tough choices. The institutions like the party and government are greater than individuals and nobody must be indispensible," Mahiya added.

He called on President Mnangagwa to "listen to the people."

"We plead with the President to hear the calls from the people. Anyone who has been accused of corruption must not hold public office. They must go," he said.

Last year a group of war veterans signed a petition demanding the Mpofu "explain himself" over allegations he was corrupt.

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