President apologises to war veterans

President Mugabe

President Mugabe

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter—
President Mugabe yesterday apologised to war veterans who were harassed by the police on Thursday in Harare, but said their chairman Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa was to be blame for organising a meeting without seeking clearance from the authorities.The President said he was not aware of the meeting and other ministers in the security sector — Ministers Sydney Sekeramayi (Defence), Kembo Mohadi (Security) and Ignatius Chombo (Home Affairs) — were also not briefed about the war veterans’ meeting.


He said Cde Mutsvangwa should answer on whatever happened during the skirmishes between the police and the war veterans. President Mugabe said Cde Mutsvangwa deserved the heavy-handedness from the police, but sympathised with innocent war veterans who were called to Harare under the false pretext that they were going to be addressed by him in his capacity as patron.

He said Cde Mutsvangwa acted in an irresponsible manner and as a Cabinet Minister, he knew proper channels if there were any grievances that needed to be addressed. “We take exception to that,” said President Mugabe.

“He has acted in a manner we describe as irresponsible, completely irresponsible and in a manner which brings the name of the party and that of Government (into disrepute) — it brings it, you see down in disgrace, in a manner in which it is now blemished, criticised.

“The people are beginning to wonder whether, in fact, we are governing properly or in accordance with the rules. People were naturally hurt or at least they had this water from the cannons down their bodies, later on the teargas in their eyes. “We regret, but the man to blame is their chairman and their Minister (Cde Mutsvangwa) and of course he has to answer as Minister why he has done it without authority.

“Ministers have, as you know, their role in governing rules. They take oaths, here again, we swear them in that they shall be disciplined, they shall be loyal, they shall hold secrets and not to reveal to anyone what happens in the Cabinet – performance of the rest of us.

“But when there is activity, clandestine or surreptitiously way of doing things, one wonders whether Minister Mutsvangwa is one and all with the rest of us. He may have grievances which are personal to himself but those have nothing to do with Government. But in so far as the rights, conditions, and interests of the war veterans, we are interested in them. 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, universities.

“We have tried our best along the way. However, the matter is about the meeting of yesterday. And let Mutsvangwa not blame the police, law and order officers, for what they did. He deserved that treatment. But the rest of the people he had invited did not deserve it, but he himself deserved it.”

President Mugabe said the meeting was not sanctioned, let alone him being briefed about it in his capacity as the patron of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA).

He said the invitation of war veterans to Harare was an abuse of office by Cde Mutsvangwa both in his capacity as chairman of the ZNLWVA and Cabinet minister. “I am the patron of the war veterans, I wasn’t informed about it,” said President Mugabe.

“Later on, even getting to know what the subject was and Cde Mutsvangwa we have appointed him as Minister of War Veterans. The first ever person to occupy such a position when we created it for the first time in Cabinet.

“I don’t know in which capacity he invited the war veterans. It does not matter in which capacity, even if he invited them as chairperson of war veterans, he was still Minister, their Minister, and if the intention was to be a demonstration, demonstrating against what? A government of which he is a Minister?

“If it was to express grievances, what grievances? He has the channel now in Cabinet as minister to inform us about the situation of war veterans, channel their grievances to us through his ministry and suggest to us what measures we can take to alleviate their conditions.

“But for him to have called a meeting about which we knew nothing, in circumstances in which he had not clearly sought permission from the authorities in violation therefore of the law. He being a Minister, he cannot at the end of it all, after the law and order officers have taken action against the meeting and the war veterans, complain that he was ill-treated or that they were ill-treated.

“He must bear the responsibility to have invited the war veterans in the name of the President – telling them that the President would want to address them when, in fact, the President didn’t know about that, his invitation of them, is to abuse his authority as Minister in the gravest way possible.”

President Mugabe said the country valued the contribution of the war veterans and as such they would always be respected. He said the freedom fighters had came a long way and they should bear in mind that the country still has a long journey ahead. President Mugabe called on the war veterans to remain disciplined and loyal as the leadership continued to explore ways of improving their welfare.

“Mawar veterans batanai. Zvichemo zvenyu tinazvo,” President Mugabe said. “Tine ministry yenyu – inoramba iripo ministry iyoyo asi hatidi nyonga-nyonga pakati penyu. Gwara, gwara remusangano. Gwara, gwara rerukudzo. Gwara rekubatana rirambe riri gwara redu. Kwatakabva kure toyeuka izvozvo. Kwatiri kuendawo kure zvekare toyeuka izvozvo, zvekare. Isu vatungamiri tinoramba tichiedza kuti mubatane.”

The President Mugabe also took a swipe at some youths in Zanu-PF who were disrespecting their elders. This was in apparent reference to the Zanu-PF youth league deputy secretary Kudzanayi Chipanga who on Wednesday disparaged war veterans and threatened to declare war on them.

“Hapana muno muZimbabwe watingati uyu ndiye anosungirwa kufa, hapana, uyu muvengi,” said President Mugabe “Angave muroyi, angave tisingabatane muurongwa hweparty yedu asi kana totarisa panyaya yeupenyu tinofanira kumuponesa ave nekudya. Tinosungirwa zvekare kuti vana vakewo vave sevana vevamwe vese vanoyamurika nefundo.

“Ndihwo hwunhu hwatinoda ihwohwo. Izvi zvamave kuita vadiki vedu siyanai nembanje dzenyu. Zvokutuka vakuru nemazwi akadzama hatizvide. Zvikandei pasi, zvikandei pasi, zvikandei pasi. Ndatenda.”

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  • Ngomalungundu

    Vane zheve wahwa! Those who open their dirty mouths to score vicious attacks towards their perceived political enemies have been reprimanded fully. Unidado in ZANU PF and Zimbabwe !

    • Mukotami

      Quite the opposite! more division… Just follow @ProfJNMoyo on twitter and get a clear interpretation of this message

    • Judas Iscariot

      Ngatisatsvage varoyi kure, tichivasiya mumba matabuda. Can you tell me anyone, who throws worse vicious attacks towards their perceived enemies,than the first lady

    • robzam

      What about naming Chipanga, Mahoka and the tribalist Mphoko as he did with Mutsvangwa?

    • Tsopota

      He was beating about the bush and we all know that

    • Pisanai

      True, apa tanzwa, pakaipa mhani

  • Danisa Tshawe



    Ko mashoko akabuda ku Chiweshe mutungamiri akati kudii pamusoro pawo?

    Komasoja akanzi arikuda kuwuraya Bellarmine mukuru wedu akati chii panyaya iyoyi?

    Ko Mahoka akataura kuti va Mnangagwa vachafira mumba President akati kudii pamusoro pake?

  • Pisanai

    Did you listen carefully to What the President has said about Chris..? Chris was gone already and now is completely finished. The President has fired you himself!! Kuda kukonzeresa bvongamupopo munyika. Jabulani Sibanda there comes one ok the guys aimbokuseka kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk.

  • blar tindo

    Blar Criss Mutsvangwa nemfana wechidiki uyu Kudzie Chipanga tinoti ndopakaperera sarungano kkkkkkkkkk inonzi Zanu iyoyo chaikuda kana chokusema……hapana achakudayi mukuru zvaatoshambadza mazita enyu aya makuvara machinda…..motonogogodza kwana Rugare nana Dydmus pamwe mungangopindawo.

  • Guest_101

    I hope this instruction applies to Dr Amai and “The Learned one”! They have been the most reckless with language usage as well as word choice in these matters.

  • b c

    Indeed Jonathan Moyo gets the last laugh. Elsewhere the STEM advertisements are back on. Syvia had claimed Jonathan had jumped the gun, with insinuations that the program was a Primary and Secondary Education ministry, which would seem logical. I wonder what else Charamba would have to say with this turn of events. Whatever Jonathan does, he sure must be a crafter of some sort. The president has done by speaking out. The squabbles were getting out of hand. It may not be the end but at least it keeps in check the wayward.

  • double

    next mutsvangwa apologies

  • Nyamasvisva

    I have a son and a daughter who are always fighting. The son beats the daughter because the daughter has scorned him. I am called in or I run to quell the disturbance. yes she has been beaten, but my challenge is why ? Did the son just beat you dear daughter ? I always approach the manner carefully – (1) appeal to the daughter to STOP IT and at the same time (2) Ask Son to STOP IT. I never take sides even if the mother seems to want to influence my approach. Scorn is bad and beating up is bad as well. My son is slow to anger and when he is upset he acts rather impetuously while my daughter has a lip – she can really say a few unprintables for her age. Given these I know about the two, I am always challenged . I would never , for what it is worth, go heavy on son and say, in the presence of the strong-lipped daughter, “why did you beat her”. I approach it very carefully , showing love to both. I must admit , I have not seen tendencies by my wife to want me to treat this one different from the other – the one in the wrong is reprimanded fairly. My wife seems to know better not to show any sort of favouritism.

  • Mukotami

    The master of *!!! Dividing the war vets against their leader while not even mention the role his wofe has played in these fights!!! Mugabe wakaoma!

  • Vakuruwe

    Hapana zvataurwa apa. Mai Mahoka vakatuka VP zvikanyararwa. Mai Mujuru vakatukwa netuvanhu tusina nebasa rose zvikanyararwa. Toziva zvipi apa isu tichipiwa mukana wokutuka vakuru vamwe asi tichinzi musatuke ava. . I dzidziso rudzii iyoyo

  • sambiri

    Mr President you didn’t apologize to the nation for bringing untold suffering to them whilst you hide under the banner of non existence sanctions and improper economy mismanagement.

    • vagician

      he is an idiot, I can say it aloud here!

  • Bererashama

    This apology would be far more credible if he ordered his much younger wife to get down on her hands and knees and beg for forgiveness after insulting her elders the genuine war veterans?

  • samas

    No no no! Mr president.Why mtsvangwa ega.Ko amai.She insults people publicly,she should be reprimanded in public.All this is coming from your house unless if she was never briefed on the party protocol

    • emmerson matongo

      Ngomalungundu don’t be factional ,the first began makig disrespectful speechs long back. You only quoted the first lady speech trying to justfy it but you didn’t tell us what dirty speech Mutsvangwa said.

  • Ngomalungundu

    Because of politics,Mutsvangwa started advancing the narrative that only those living war vets of his choice are worth respect and leadership in ZANU PF. We have young cadres in the party who did not participate in the armed struggle , not because they were cowards but were young or not born. These are now the majority and future of our revolutionary party. Mutsvangwa even looks down upon those who were in political detentions, those who materially supported the armed struggle, those in the diaspora who raised support for our armed struggle. The first lady`s response to such foolish utterances should not be twisted for politics sake. She said “ You are not the only one who fought in the armed struggle. I have a brother and relatives who also fought , including my husband. There are many parents and families who lost hama in the war.. They should not be denigrated by our living heroes. So please don`t tell us your dirty language as if you are the only ones who fought the liberation war!“End of quote! So please politics aside ,was that not factual before you go to town lying that war vets were insulted. Mutsvangwa is the source of all the ugly exchanges. He even forgot that he is government minister and degenerated into political activist

    • Rudo

      You are defending the indefensible. I have respect for every Zimbabwean including yourself, the First Lady and Mutsvagwa But I Am An Ardent believer in the need for constitutional order. Firstly I found the involvement of the wife of the President in government well ultra vires her role as the Secretary of women’s affairs. I also felt that some words that were said on national TV in front of children should have been said in private if at all there was such need. I have nothing personal against her and in fact I like the fact that she delved into some issues that were viewed as toboo at the expense of progressive discourse However people have values that should be upheld such as the fact that mothers don’t chide their children to the point of undressing them in front of their siblings and friends. I implore her to be the unifying force that the must be. She must not take sides when her children are fighting for the inheritance of their father. Cde Kasukuwere did denigrate war veterans and called them drunkards and taxi drivers. I respect Taxi Drivers because they provide a service to the nation but to the one rich minister they are in the same league as drunkards. He never apologised to the taxi drivers and of course to the war veterans. Many things have been said by Cde Jonathan Moyo about Cde. Munangagwa and he is still a minister in government and apparently relates well with the Co VP Cde Mphoko and Cde Grace Mugabe. They both have not come out to reprimand their friend. In fact one a Cde Sarah Mahoka has said things to Cde Munangagwa and he has not said much in response and this lady has been seen in the company of the Cde Grace Mugabe at a rally in Chiweshe. My prayer is that the President fairly addresses issues without fear or favour and tries to distinguish the role of the First Lady as his wife from her role in the party as secretary for women’s affairs. I love the President and his wife and I love his ministers Mutsvangwa Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo as well as Charamba. Above all I love the war veterans. May God bless our country Zimbabwe

  • blar tindo

    Mr President zviroto zviroto ngazviperere mudzimba. Musati kana madya nyemba, mafemerwa nemudzimai wenyu. Mowudzwa kuti ngana ngana hatichamuda mubato hehehehehehehehehe muchasara mamega nemudzimayi wenyu vese mapera kuvadzinga.

  • bexilford

    Charamba , Dr Misheck Sibanda and his deputy Dr Ray Ndhlukula should have informed the president. They are all at fault by keeping the president in the dark.

  • Mayor Of Mvurwi

    The President is being very insincere by singling Comrade Mutsvangwa for criticism while saying nothing on his wife who is the source of all these animosities…

    The President’s legitimacy rests on the fact he fought in the war of liberation. It is the greatest insult to him for people who avoided going to war, like Jonathan Moyo, to be found denigrating War Veterans.

  • Hanzi kudii?

    If the President is in charge, he should reign in his wife. To me this is an orchestrated move by the President himself. Why is it fair to insult others yet you yourself cannot be insulted? All we hear is factionalism and votes of no confidence, we do not eat votes of no confidence or insults. This is getting out of hand, and childish.

    Zanu PF, please solve bread and butter issues, we are not interested in your insults. If you want to insult each other go ahead, just don’t do it in front of us. All we want is getting the country on a recovery track.


  • Grace Jones

    Mugabe kuda kuruma achifuridzira.War vets are not kids. They see thro ugh this .They will back Mutsvangwa. After setting his dogs on them oda kuita use his divide and rule too bad. And too late. War on the excombatants was declared and Mugabe takes sides. You think war vets do not see? Grace insulted war vets thats what they were meeting about. Mugabe responds to the insult wounded war vets by setting his dogs on them.That is what he did. He is fooling no one

  • sweet indeed

    ah that’s sweet

  • Bnoks

    You’re an idiot