Chipanga insulted us all!

President MugabeHildegarde The Arena
“We are war veterans ourselves. These two gentlemen you have here (Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko) have been gunholders. You can call them ‘vana bhombadhiya’ (bombardiers). And you find this situation even in the police force. “We have people who have been outside fighting who are war veterans – the army, the intelligence, the security department, in the civil service. We find them also now in their homes retired. Some are farmers, in industries, some are intellectuals in universities.”

That was President Mugabe, while addressing the nation last Friday, on the eve of his 92nd birthday.

He touched on a number of issues, but the central one being the disunity and the seeming lack of ideological direction among some senior Zanu-PF party leaders.

During the address, President Mugabe also took aim at some Youth League members when he said: “Imi zvamave kuita vadiki vedu, siyanai nembanje dzenyu. Zvokutuka vakuru nemazwi akadzama hatizvide. Zvikandei pasi! Zvikandei pasi! Zvikandei pasi!”

One could not miss the emphasis in the President’s call for discipline and respect among the youths, who are supposed to be the vanguard of the revolutionary party, not only towards elders, but Zimbabwe’s war veterans.

This was seen as a direct reprimand of the ZANU-PF Youth League Deputy Secretary Kudzi Chipanga who on Tuesday last week dared the war veterans to a fight, as he labelled them “sickening rabble-rousers”.

Chipanga brazenly challenged the heroes and heroines of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle saying, “If we (the youths) say let us go to war today, how many war veterans are there? They are very few. We (the youths) constitute 65 percent of this country . . . So be ready and we are going to call you when the time comes . . . They are not going to do anything. We will give them a 100-metre race and they will fail to run. They are sick with sugar (diabetes) (sic).”

Pathetic and shameful though this was, Chipanga demonstrated the ideological bankruptcy and lack of direction that we have seen among some in Zanu-PF, including some party heavy weights.

The insults by Chipanga also raise more questions than answers. How do branches, districts and provinces select people into positions of leadership, especially when we have the party’s national youth leader spewing such venom against men and women who sacrificed all in order for the likes of Chipanga and his ilk to not only have a good education in an independent Zimbabwe, but to also dream to be tomorrow’s leaders?

What criteria are being used if someone so bereft of ideological foundation, vision and direction is chosen to lead the youths in a revolutionary party such as Zanu-PF?

What is going on?

How can someone whose mindset is no different from misguided youths in the MDC who told war veterans, “Endai mundoisungirira nyika pamakaisunungura, tigoenda tigondoisunungura”, be allowed to lead young people at such a high level?

The other question that begs is what or who gives Chipanga that confidence to say what he said last week, including threatening The Herald newspaper? How many like-minded youths – youths that want to fight war veterans – are there in Zanu-PF?

Talk is cheap, especially when Chipanga’s colleagues only spoke days after his statement. Did President Mugabe have to publicly announce that he is a war veteran? Was it necessary?

Now that Chipanga knows that President Mugabe is a war veteran, will he dare him also, because insulting any freedom fighter (dead or alive) is no different from insulting the President himself?

The dog fights that we continue to see in the ruling Zanu-PF are a pointer that while they are still deeply entrenched in village politics, fighting for bread- crumbs, President Mugabe on January 31 demonstrated that he is way ahead of them in terms of vision.

Not only is he the giant of Zimbabwe, but he is also Africa’s point man, whose deep understanding of the continent’s issues is way above the petty politics that has made it difficult for Zimbabwe to move on after the 2013 harmonised elections.

If the thousands that received him at the Harare International Airport really support the cause that he has stood for all his life, then they would realise that they are the stumbling block to Zimbabwe and Africa’s developmental goals, especially the AU’s Agenda 2063.

President Mugabe spent about two minutes doing slogans, and his slogans were not for Zimbabwe per se, but for Africa as a whole: a united Africa, Pan-Africanism, the youths and women of Africa, protecting Africa against enemy forces, and ensuring that Africa’s wealth is for its people, first and foremost.

He knew about the factional fights when he addressed people at the airport, but he did not want that to dampen his buoyed spirits as he gave a brief about the summit and his handing over the AU chairmanship:

“Kana ini handisati ndamboona zvakadaro. Vese, kumwanduka, kusimuka. MaPresident vese, vanga varipo, kuombera. A-a-a-a-a-h! (When he got a standing ovation during his address.)

“Saka hezvo, Zimbabwe yapamusoro-soro! Asi ndakati, tirambe takabatana muAfrica, nokuti kubatana kwakaunza rusununguko kwatiri. Kubatana, kwakati tizove neOAU yava African Union nhasi.

“Ndikavaudza kubatana kwaivepo tichibatsirwa isu nenyika dzakasiyana-siyana, vanaNigeria, vanaTanzania, zvichidaro. Ndikati nanhasi tinotenda kubatsirwa kwatakaitwa ikoko. Hatikanganwe.”

In that address President Mugabe also warned against divisiveness in Zanu-PF saying in part: “Takataurawo nenyaya yemayouth, dzemadzimai, kuti dzirambe dzakasimbirirwa. Tamboti mayouth ndivo vagari venhaka. Ngavapihwe gwanza rokuti vasununguke … Ngatibatanei! Ngatibatanei! Zveumbimbindoga tombokanda pasi. Zvemafactions tombozvisvipira pasi. Mayouth edu ngaabatane. Ngaarege kuuya nokufuririka, kana kufurirwa. Vave nendangariro yokuti nyika ndiyo yatinoda kuti ititungamirire. Kana ndichiti nyika, ndiri kureva huzhinji hwevanhu – our nation. Zvido zvevanhu!”

But as it were, President Mugabe was probably speaking to a few people who understand what Zimbabwe’s leadership position in Africa and beyond means.

It is worth reminding Chipanga and like-minded people that the liberation struggle is not a figment of people’s fertile imaginations.

During one of the many radio addresses he made on Voice of Maputo/Voice of Zimbabwe politicising and boosting the fighters’ morale, Cde Mugabe spoke of the meaning of the revolutionary struggle:

“When in April 1966, the people of Zimbabwe decided to launch the armed struggle and the first group of our seven ZANLA fighters fought the famous Sinoia (now Chinhoyi) Battle, they resolved, once and for all, to free themselves totally from the savage and oppressive rule of the settler imperialists.

“This decision, accordingly, marked a qualitative transformation as much in objective as indeed in the means henceforth to be employed in the pursuit of the goal of freedom and independence.” (From: “Robert Mugabe: Our War of Liberation”)

The war veterans might mistakenly be in the state that Chipanga described, but if he also listens to Simon “Chopper” Chimbetu’s Chimurenga hit song, “Kure Kachana”, then he will understand once again that talk is cheap. Getting to where we are, with President Mugabe celebrating his 92nd birthday was no easy walk.

Chipanga insulted us all!

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  • Mwanavevhu

    Don’t try to silence Chipanga, he was very right!!! Chipanga did not threaten genuine war veterans who include President Mugabe, but rogue ones including Mutsvagwa and his “boss”. Remember that threat still holds no matter how much effort you may put in trying to silence!!! We cannot allow power mongers to destabilise our beautiful country…
    Don’t also try to bootlick the president in order to “win him”. He knows your sinister agenda. Chipanga also knows your sinister agenda. Everyone knows too. We are not fools. Ask yourselves why did Mutsvangwa lie to the war veterans? What did he want to demonstrate for? Against who? Does he not know the proper channels of communication in both Zanu PF and in government? We know your machinations!!! Manyangira yaona!!! Rwurirwese nakatsande nemumvura nemumvura kusvika tachibata chingwena ichocho.

    To Chipanga, I say don’t be intimidated or silenced. We can’t allow rogue war veterans to demonstrate against our beloved president and his government. President Mugabe is not part of these secessionists who are already campaigning when his term is still running. These errant war veterans must never dare repeat what they wanted to do, they will be teargased again. If that fails, take Chipanga seriously, we will finish these rogue elements if they try it again. Remember this is a new Zimbabwe.

    • genuine vet

      Very true mwanawevhu Chipanfa was right, You cant have the Herald, Rogue war vets such asMatemadanda &Mutsvangwa messing up the peace in tge name of tge struggle. We did not fight the setllers so that we become a nuisance. Its people like Chipanfa who we fought for also. The boy is right.

    • Kuta Kinte

      It is not true the so called Mwanawevhu. If you are genuine that President Mugabe is a genuine war veteran, then you cannot be found to be encouraging Chipanga to insult the war veterans in terms of AGE etc. What I can detect is that you are also in the same boat of insulting our war veterans and our President as well. The so-called Mwanawevhu, we know the corner where you are fighting from. You are encouraging Chipanga to continue being naughty for your agenda which you think is your secret. Ndiwe uri kunyangira irikuona.

  • boutros

    why is he still in his position, after insulting theHE, VPs and other war veterans? Why has he not ben given a VONC or suspended by Kasukuwere? is it because he was the mouthpiece of the whole G40 and is therefore safe? That head must roll. Others have been expelled and suspended for very trivial things like a slogan, pasi naG40. What about insulting the President and VPs like Chipanga did?

  • war vet

    hapana zvauri kutaura benzi

    • Muturikwa we Gweru.

      Iwe ndiwe usina zvauri kutaura because you are from the opposition corner and you want chaos in the ruling party. The only problem with you is that the article was written at a level far higher than you can consume.

  • Chipanga

    Chipanga we are together in this war. Makajaidzwa ma war vets zvenyu zvekuti tinodzokera kuhondo munopamira imi kana tochemedza Ak47, munoribereka imi backpack nesugar dzenyu idzodzo, muchagona kukwira makomo imi, left flank or right flank attack muchagona kuzomhanya kwacho. We respect you very much but haikona kutaura zvehondo kunge imi pamakaenda kuhondo kwacho makange murizvamuri izvozvo. Rangarirai kuti makaenda muri ma youths like us saka tinokupedzai. Magova hari dzofadzirofa. Come 2018 muchationa

  • Joseph Maphosa

    Kunyomba Kudzai Chipanga kuwanza mbambo padehwe reshindi, kupedzera matombo pana dhimba idzo hanga dziripo. Insulting leaders and war veterans has been going on for some time. Very senior ZANU PF leaders have been insulting war veterans all this time including very senior citizens and doing so at a rally addressing thousands of party supporters who included war veterans. Senior military leaders who include war veterans have been insulted at rallies by very senior ZANU PF leaders. So why blowing trumpet at Chipanga alone? Is it because he is young and junior in the party hence a soft spot? The young man is getting it from his elders anyway.

    • Muturikwa we Gweru.

      Time will tell with your Chipanga whom we know that you however, do not like him and you pretend to like him because he has vomited what you wanted to hear.

  • Kuta Kinte

    Good article Hildegarde. We know why some of these commenters pretend to like and encourage a youth who has displayed a rogue behavior. The idea that the president mentioned him is because he was irked by Chipanga’s total insult to the liberation struggle and Chipanga’s words are those exactly the same parroted by the opposition youths and their elders. It is our duty or obligation to ensure that our children are always aligned to the VALUE of the liberation struggle. What would you do if your son says – father you cannot tell me anything and if you want let us fight because I know I will beat you since I am young and energetic? That mindset should be left to the opposition youths because that is what their elders tell them – not in the revolutionary party where discipline is expected from mainly the youths and elders as well.

    • chakutareal

      You as elders why would you be quick to say ndokurova kumwana wamunoziva kuti wakura haasisiri zera rokurohwa? We expect the elders to lead by example not by violence. The later will only teach the youth that violence is the only way to get what one wants and today you now cry foul because the child has turned on you. Remember respect is earned not demanded. So act in a manner that deserves respect to get respect.

  • Cde Chirikuwutsi

    Cde Chipanga was wrong by imitating Cdes Mutsvangwa and Matemadanda! Being young , he can be excused but the War vet leaders he was imitating stand advised not give bad example to our young cadres. Chipanga did not insult us all , in my view, because he was responding to few misguided war vet leaders who were threatening the young cadres who they think are not ZANU PF enough because they were young or not born during our armed struggle. That ill advised narrative by the two wet vet leaders goty that expected but unacceptable response from Cde Chipanga. He was not attacking all us war vets. So please don`t put a misleading headline about Cde Chipanga, because as war vets we are intelligent to follow what is happening. Threatening to beat other Politburo members and government ministers out the Politb meeting is what Cde Chipanga responded to in my view. Lets respect those non war vet members in ZANU PF so that they can also respect us . “Do unto other as ——!“ the Bible says! This is why the President said they should all “Shut up and stop it!“

  • SOO what

    soooooo what… if somebody says negative things about you even if it is the truth then he insults you? oohh come on guyz he isnt wrong( Chipanga) thats his perspective guyz… no offence buh if we send thoz who praises them selfves to be war vet to war ..will they fight, NO they wont………Chipanga respect ma elders taurawo wakaita sokuvanda zvine madimikira mukati sa HOsea Chipanga