Farirai Machivenyika and Felex Share
THE handful of war veterans insulting the First Family do not represent the sentiment of the generality of war veterans and Zanu-PF structures will not stand by and watch the unwarranted abuse.
“Do not paint all the war veterans with the same brush,” Zanu-PF Secretary for Adminstration Cde Chombo said.
“There are individuals who are unbecoming and trouble-makers but the majority respect the party and we work with them well. Those T-shirts insulting the First Lady that you see are not the work of war veterans but a few individuals. It is the duty of the police to deal with those that denigrate the person of the President. That is why you have seen in recent weeks some of them being arrested.”
Cde Chombo was addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters gathered at the revolutionary party’s national headquarters in Harare for a solidarity march organised by a group of war veterans led by Cdes Mandi Chimene and George Mlala yesterday
The rally was in solidarity with the First Lady Dr Amai Grace Mugabe following a barrage of insults she is receiving from a section of war veterans led by Mr Chris Mutsvangwa, who has since been expelled from Zanu-PF.
Addreasing the same gathering, Cde Chimene said it was disheartening that despite the training they received during the liberation struggle, some war veterans were disrespecting the party leadership.
“Despite the education and difficulties we went through, it seems some of us came out half-baked and are now betraying the struggle,” she said.
“What they should know, however, is we will tell them in their faces where they are going wrong. I personally am not afraid to tell them because I see myself as legion.”
She described the First Lady as a war veteran in her own right as she was looking after the President.
“She has humbled herself despite the fact that she did not go to war because she was young,” Cde Chimene said.
“She is a war veteran by association because she is looking after our father.”
Zanu-PF Youth League Secretary Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga said they would not watch while the First Lady is being denigrated.
“As the Youth League whenever the name of President Mugabe and Amai is mentioned count us in because we are their children,” he said. “We do not have any other leader other than them. We won’t hesitate to deal with anyone who insults the President and First Lady.”
Speaking on behalf of the Women’s League, the wing’s secretary for administration, Cde Leticia Undenge said: “We do not want people who speak ill of our mother. Baba is a respected international leader because he has an intelligent woman behind him. She is involved in philanthropic work assisting many of us.”
She said those harbouring Presidential ambitions were dreaming.
“Come 2018, President Mugabe will be in the office and no one else,” she said.
“The war veterans who are insulting the First Family are doing so because there are some who are dreaming to rule. That will be impossible.”
Cde Chombo urged Zanu-PF supporters to turn the enthusiasm they are showing in attending rallies into votes and ensure a crushing victory for the ruling party in next year’s harmonised elections.
Yesterday’s gathering testified to Zanu-PF’s mobilisation capacity and vindicated projections by think-tanks and analysts that another runaway victory was on the cards for the revolutionary party come 2018.
War veterans, youths and women turned Zanu-PF headquarters into a sea of green and yellow as they sang revolutionary songs in support of the First Family.
Cde Chombo said the bumper crowds being witnessed at rallies should translate into votes.
“Our constitution stipulates that every five years we go for elections,” he said.
“Next year, we would have reached five years as a Government. We must go for elections for people to choose their leaders. If we like the President and the First Lady as we have shown today, let’s take this enthusiasm and energy back to the provinces and deliver an overwhelming victory next year. The President and the First Lady would be very happy indeed,” he said.
The solidarity rally was also attended by Cabinet ministers and legislators.