Tendai Moyo Correspondent
In the aftermath of his dismissal from Cabinet as the Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Political Detainees and Restrictees, the belligerent behaviour of Christopher Mutsvangwa reminds us of the proverbial bull in a China shop that refuses to go down alone but chooses to take with it the rest of the porcelain stock in the shop.
Mutsvangwa has definitely vowed never to singularly bow out of his war veterans’ portfolio but intends to take down with him the whole liberation war infrastructure, membership and legacy.
He is continuing with his Hollywood “Rambo” character, projecting himself as the indispensable main actor whose role cannot be undermined without injuring the whole cast.
As the supposed Rambo of the liberation struggle, Mutsvangwa sees himself as the super war vet, the one without which the Second Chimurenga would have never been fought or won by the black majority.
He condescendingly views the rest of the former fighters as hanging on his coat tails and would never abandon him in his apparently subversive drive to strike a wedge between the war veterans and the country’s leadership.
What Mutsvangwa forgets is that the former fighters are not gullible. He easily forgets that these are the gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who, out of freewill and patriotism, chose to forego all life luxuries to selflessly join the life-threatening war of liberation.
Their sovereignty as individuals and loyalty to President Mugabe is undoubted and is wholly vouched by a reported incident in Gokwe, in which a Mutsvangwa sidekick, Victor Matemadanda, recently manhandled a former combatant, Cde Stanley Moyo, for refusing to pander to his divisive whims.
Cde Moyo reportedly told the Daily News that: “He (Matemadanda) confronted me when I met him on my way to watch a football match between Liverpool and Manchester United, querying why we were supporting Chimene’s leader- ship.
“He accused me of being used by the First Lady for nothing, and when I insisted that I would not support a leadership that was fired, he came out of his car, grabbed me by the collar and slapped me twice on the cheek. That is when I retaliated, prompting his colleagues to come to his rescue while he threatened to shoot me. I then ran away fearing for my life.”
Matemadanda was obviously bamboozled by Cde Moyo and other war veterans’ steadfast and undying loyalty to President Mugabe.
Relatedly, the same paper revealed that Mutsvangwa and Matemadanda are on a countrywide spree to influence war veterans into removing President Mugabe as the patron of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZLWVA) at its next general meeting.
Reality on the ground indicates that war veterans cannot be stampeded into a selfish, power-driven crusade aimed at dividing them and alienating them from the leadership of President Mugabe.
What Mutsvangwa and company are now doing is bordering on treason.
President Mugabe is the patron of the ZNLWVA by virtue of being the President of the country and no one can take that away as long as he remains in that office.
Yes, in his Hollywood dream, Mutsvangwa, as the self-appointed main actor, can see himself as the driving force and kingmaker behind the former liberation fighters, but in real life he is a dispensable nobody similar to his wartime forbearers like the Vashandi, who vainly attempted many a time to backstab President Mugabe and other leaders of the party.
Like Cde Moyo from Gokwe, war veterans are not pushovers and will never be stampeded to revolt against their war time leadership at the behest of undisciplined liberation war fighters such as Mutsvangwa and Matemadanda.
As true soldiers, they will always be guided by military principles, nzira dzamasoja, and these principles never entail rebelling against their decorated liberation war leaders.
True war veterans are lifetime soldiers who will never be blinded by the whimsical power-seeking and divisive antics of Mutsvangwa.
Genuine war veterans will stand by their leaders and remain guided by the ethos of the rigorous military training and discipline they received during the liberation struggle.
They will remain guided by patriotism and not Mutsvangwa’s sour grapes.