From Cletus Mushanawani in MUTARE
Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube has called on war veterans planning to demonstrate in solidarity with him to do so in support of their patron, President Mugabe.
Addressing hundreds of members of the Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators’ Association during their Manicaland conference at Mutare Hall yesterday, Rtd Col Dube, said: “Demonstrations should be in solidarity with our patron, President Mugabe.
“I am just nothing. The most important person is President Mugabe. I am just a mosquito. I am nobody, but just a messenger sent by President Mugabe to unite all factions. I was told not to select any group, but unite all factions because we have one patron.”
His comments come amid media reports that a group of war veterans aligned to Mr Chris Mutsvangwa were planning to stage a demonstration in solidarity with Rt Col Dube.
Rtd Col Dube was recently quoted in the media urging President Mugabe to name a successor. President Mugabe has since engaged him and made it clear that only the Zanu-PF Congress was tasked with electing the party leader. Rtd Col Dube said he would not rest until war veterans and collaborators had one united body.
“We should be wary of some people who claim to be so close and loyal to President Mugabe, yet they have their own agendas,” he said. “Everyone in Zanu-PF is aligned to President Mugabe. President Mugabe is our leader and we should be loyal to him.” Rtd Col Dube took a swipe at some individuals masquerading as war veterans and leading genuine war veterans astray.
“There are some people who are leading war veterans, yet they never participated in the war,” he said. “If you ask them where they operated from, you hear so many stories. How can you lead war veterans when you are not one of them? “You should tell us where you operated during the struggle.”
Speaking at the same occasion, war collaborators chairman, Cde Pupurai Togarepi, said they would continue rallying behind Zanu-PF. “We will not allow MDC-T to rule this country,” he said. “We might have a few bad elements in our ranks, but we all rally behind Zanu-PF. Even when we are facing so many challenges, we should not turn our backs on Zanu-PF. We will remain loyal to President Mugabe.
“You should continue supporting Zanu-PF and defend what you fought for. We have liars in the party, who were born like that. They are good at creating lies on the social media and planting stories in the media and we should be wary of that. They are not happy to see a united Zanu-PF.
“Some of us are proving to be turncoats as our behaviour proves otherwise. Some created lies when requested for a meeting with President Mugabe that we wanted to demonstrate against him. How can we demonstrate against our President and patron?”
Cde Togarepi thanked Rtd Col Dube for working towards fostering unity among war veterans.