Apologise to President, Mahiya told
Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Welfare Services for War veterans, War Collaborators, Ex-political Detainees and Restrictees Minister Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube has advised Mr Douglas Mahiya to apologise to President Mugabe and fellow war veterans for disrespecting the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. Rtd Col Dube’s remarks were in response to statements made by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesman, that President Mugabe would go down with under-fire national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere in next year’s elections, if he failed to fire him.
Mr Mahiya was quoted as saying: “We can see through him (Mugabe). He wants an emasculated Kasukuwere so he can use him in the creation of his dynasty. It is not going to work. They will both go down.”
Rtd Col Dube said Mr Mahiya, who is a war veteran, was not speaking on behalf of the association when he gave an ultimatum to President Mugabe.
In a statement yesterday, Rtd Col Dube said he and other officials within the ministry were shocked by the utterances by Mr Mahiya and encouraged him to apologise to the President.
“We believe that the best thing for Cde Mahiya is to make an apology both to His Excellency and other war veterans. We are unaware that he is speaking on behalf of this association. He, however, must appreciate that whether you are a member of the association or not, the underlying factor is that he is a war veteran.
“We always believe that once a cadre has been trained militarily, he maintains the same discipline up to the time of his death. We were very surprised when he gave an ultimatum to His Commander in Chief who is also the Patron of War Veterans, President Robert Mugabe,” he said.
Rtd Col Dube added that Mr Mahiya should not have made hostile speeches even if he had strong opinions about issues.
“Mr Mahiya should have known that by his virtue of being a war veteran, he is a reserve force of the Defence Forces. The fact that he is a war veteran does not exonerate him from keeping the discipline that he was taught when he was still a fighter.
“It must be known that the President himself goes out of his way to make sure that everything is done to improve the lives of the war veterans in spite of the serious economic hardships that the country faces,” he said.
He argued that Mr Mahiya was not setting a good example to the younger former fighters and young people.
“We know to err is human, but to forgive is divine. So we persuade Cde Mahiya to make an apology without further delay. He might be talking out of grievances that he is carrying, but it is not an excuse to show disrespect to your elders especially the Head of State.
“May I appeal to all our Comrades, war veterans or not to uphold the principles of respect to our elders,” he said.
Mr Mahiya appears to be alone in denigrating President Mugabe as war veterans have pledged their full support for President Mugabe and said they will vigorously campaign for Zanu-PF in next year’s harmonised elections.
Chairman of the war veterans association Mr Chris Mutsvangwa has also praised President Mugabe’s visionary leadership.