Source: ‘No to Mugabe dynasty’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 27, 2017
VETERANS of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle will work hard in the coming month to stop President Robert Mugabe’s bid to create a political dynasty in the country, NewsDay has been told.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
In an interview following the conclusion of a meeting of the former fighters organised by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) last week, secretary-general Victor Matemadanda was categorical that the ex-combatants would not allow Mugabe — already endorsed by Zanu PF as its presidential candidate — to win another term next year.
“The war vets will now go to give the masses the consciousness of the tasks ahead, which are to fight corruption, fight creation of a Mugabe dynasty, fight regionalism and fight dictatorship as well as all other social and economic ills,” Matemadanda told NewsDay.
While Mugabe, in his traditional birthday interview last month, claimed he remained in office because there was no one suitable to take over, ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said Zimbabweans could still choose a leader even someone without liberation war credentials.
“The only way to do it is to vote and find a suitable leader even among those that did not take part in the liberation struggle. We are 14 million citizens and if we choose well among us, they should be able to serve our common interests as a people,” Mahiya said.
“It is not possible that there is no one who can lead better than those in power today. We can always find one because nobody is indispensable. Zimbabwe is greater than individuals and will be there long after we are all gone.”
ZNLWVA national chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa also called for a change of tack with the economy virtually on its knees and the deepening political problems in the country.
“We need to reach out to [the] Diaspora … engendered by the illegal sanctions and the ham-fisted response of the clueless, vapid and vacuous G40 in their illicit control of the apex of Executive power,” he said.
In the scathing communiqué issued last July, the war veterans accused Mugabe of manipulating the ruling Zanu PF party for selfish ends, describing him as “genocidal”.
Before last week’s meeting, the ZNLWVA distributed flyers detailing their “commitments to the Zimbabwe we want”.
The former fighters committed to servant and responsive leadership, rule of law and according citizens all civil liberties “without prejudice”.
As their relationship with Mugabe and Zanu PF continues on a downward spiral, Mutsvangwa said last week’s meeting re-established the war veterans as “a people’s force”.
“It was a watershed, game-changing meeting. It recast the image of the war veteran. He [war veteran] has recovered that integrity and seriousness befitting a revolutionary hero of the Chimurenga independence war.
“It banished his image and standing, doing away with the idiosyncratic caricature of violence and mayhem. Zimbabweans are once again proud of the stellar military actors who did so much to restore the battered bias against modern African military prowess,” Mutsvangwa said.
“We presented the war veterans as the heroes of the Zimbabweans, the heroes of Africa. That is the biggest success that we got and it will marginalise the elements that are against progress particularly as epitomised by the G40 (faction of Zanu PF). The G40 is the opposite of what we want in Zimbabwe. We have demolished them and reworked the image of war veterans and removed the element of caricature.”
Mahiya admitted the demands by the war veterans might not be achieved under Mugabe’s current government, accusing some senior officials of being counter-revolutionaries.
“…the people who are holding positions today, for example, the Minister of Home Affairs [Ignatius Chombo], Higher Education [Jonathan Moyo] and Local Government [Saviour Kasukuwere], are counter-revolutionaries and would never accept our demands,” Mahiya said.
“We are clear Zimbabweans understand what we are saying and will know who to vote for. It is a small group of people with no social base. Next year’s elections will tell.”
Mugabe, who will contest next year’s election aged 94, should have retired a long time ago, argued Mahiya.
“At his age, the President was supposed to have retired and be able to write books and putting down what he has done for the country for future generations to benefit from the wisdom, if any, that he has. Those who are in the corridors of power are only interested in looting the country’s economy,” he said.