Tafara Shumba Correspondent
Following last week’s tiff between war veterans and the law enforcement agents, some crocodile tears streamed down the cheeks of the MDC-T and its allies in the civic society. They cried more than the bereaved in a desperate attempt to profit from the development.
The opposition and the civic groups roundly condemned what they called police brutality against war veterans. While we agree that the police’s response to the war veteran’s unsanctioned meeting was heavy-handed, the displayed sympathy by the opposition and civic groups has an ulterior motive. The Shona elders would be quick to question such empathy through their wise adage about a senior bachelor’s curious love towards a single mother’s child.
A NewsDay columnist, Ropafadzo Mapimhidze, went to great lengths to research on teargas. Readers were informed of aerosols, crystallised chemicals and what not. This writer has read the lady’s articles before. They have not been inspiring and well researched like her latest contribution titled “Teargassing is chemical warfare”. This was all done to scandalise the police action. Hopefully, more of her articles to come on her column will be as researched as this one.
The MDC-T was quoted as saying the police action was “a negation of the tenets of democracy for which many of these gallant sons and daughters paid the supreme sacrifice”. Laugh-able, isn’t it? It’s more like a prostitute preaching virtue. However, the plot is so unsophisticated and unintelligible that even the dullard can see through the motive behind.
The MDC-T is right on the nose. The war veterans that ran battles with the law enforcement agents on Thursday made a huge sacrifice to bring independence and democracy that the MDC-T and its hangers-on are abusing today. When did the MDC-T start to know and recognise the supreme contributions of the war veterans? Since its formation, the MDC-T and its benefactors in the West have been showing nauseating contempt for the war veterans.
They know that these veterans of the Second Chimurenga are the vanguard of zanu-pf and as such, stand as a stumbling block to their regime change agenda. The MDC-T has inculcated among its youths a culture of disrespect for war veterans. It had become a common slogan of the youthful MDC-T functionaries at their rallies to taunt and challenge war veterans to return the country into the hands of the colonialists so that they could free it themselves. They would say: “Munoti makasunungura nyika, chiendai mundoidzosera payanga yakasungirirwa muone kuti hatiisununguri here?” Thus far the MDC-T had taught its youths to disrespect and abhor the freedom fighters.
The freedom fighters had become a laughing stock. Even Tendai Biti who was Finance Minister in the inclusive Government always mocked them. In many cases, he refused to disburse funds for their pensions and children’s school fees. For doing that, Biti was viewed in the MDC-T circles as a superman. He impoverished the war veterans by denying them their meagre pensions.
At one time in Mberengwa during the run-up to the historic 2013 general elections, Tsvangirai threatened war veterans. “Here in Mberengwa we know there is a problem of one Biggie Chitoro. When elected into power, we will be asking him how many people he has killed. Mhosva hairovi,” said Tsvangirai.
This writer had an opportunity to work with Tsvangirai. The chap does not forgive easily. While the MDC-T squeezes crocodile tears over the treatment of war veterans by the police, the freedom fighters must not forget the man’s longstanding vow. “Mhosva hairovi” and indeed with Morgan, you cannot get away with murder. In the case of a miracle, the war veterans would be the first lot to be persecuted for their sin of defending the sovereignty of this country. That reality should not be missed despite the deceptive sympathy coming from the MDC-T and its allies.
There is no amount of persuasion and deception that can snatch away genuine war veterans from the only political home they have known from birth. No amount of propaganda can incite war veterans against zanu-pf. In any case, the President has already apologised to war veterans for the unfortunate incident. There is really no need to continue harping on the issue. It is now water under the bridge.
The MDC-T has done more egregiously blameworthy acts that negate the revolutionary gains that the war veterans sacrificed their precious lives for. They are trying to play the saviour, more like a man who tries to douse a fight between a couple by seducing the wife. He forgets that despite the tiff, no love is completely lost and eventually that man makes a monkey out of himself.
The land issue was central to the liberation struggle. Conscious of this issue, President Mugabe embarked on the land reform programme which the MDC-T vehemently opposed. It was this resistance that earned them favours of all kinds from white commercial farmers. The war veterans fought for that land which the MDC-T fights to return to the white people who violently seized it from the rightful African owners.
The opposition forces have been accusing the police of selectively applying the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) on them. By dispersing the war veterans, the police are vindicated. Section (25) (1) of Posa criminalises any public meeting held without notifying the regulatory authority. Anyone who contravenes it is arrested despite his social status or political inclinations. Zimbabwe upholds the rule of law without fear or favour. What it does to Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is also done to war veterans or even zanu-pf.
Remember there are police bosses within the war veterans’ association and it is most likely that some of them who did not know about clearance status of the meeting, were also part of the crowd that was dispersed.