Felex Share in Bindura
President Mugabe yesterday said he will meet war veterans during the first week of April for a frank and candid interaction which will allow the freedom fighters to air their grievances on all aspects.
Addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters at Chipadze Stadium here, the President said the planned meeting would be all encompassing as it would feature Cabinet ministers and commanders in charge of the country’s security sectors in their capacity as war veterans.
This comes after the war veterans, under the leadership of Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association chairperson Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa, had their meeting cancelled last month because it was not sanctioned by the police.
The President said the meeting would be an opportunity to correct some war veterans who, of late, have gone rogue and displayed wayward behaviour.
“We want all the war veterans to come to Harare during the first week of April, you will be informed about the date,” he said.
“Come and let us discuss and we will also want to hear all your grievances. But we would also want to correct the awful thoughts amongst some of us who have imparted these appalling opinions to the youths who have gone to the extent of denigrating the First Lady and the President publicly. Mukatarisa zvirikuenda kuInternet kutuka kunonzi padanho renyu kutukirira nemazwi etsvina zvichibva mupfungwa yaanaMutsvangwa izvozvo.”
President Mugabe said such terrible and selfish agendas were being driven by ambitious party cadres who wanted leadership positions, including the Presidency.
He said he was free to step down from his post as long as people removed him at the right time and following laid-down procedures.
“Ipfungwa dzekuti President vagarisa dai vabva,” he said.
“If that is the case, why did we go for the elections in 2013? You want me to leave in the middle of my term? Wait for the congress. Kana muine vamunoti ava ndivo vangagone basa kupfuura President, movaisa pamberizve. So, war veterans, come to Harare and we talk about these issues. Hapana zvekutyana, tenge tichiti taurai zviri pamoyo penyu. Kana maakuda kuti vatungamiri vabve, ini ndibve, ndinobvaka kana madaro.”
President Mugabe said it was unfortunate that some people, who should be championing development in the country, were mudslinging the country’s leadership to investors.
“That’s where we are differing,” he said.
“And some of you are going as far as China telling them that we need a new leader. At the African Union we are trying to elevate our country and yet here, you are busy pulling me down. We should have respect to our leadership. If there are contradictions, we sit down and iron out the differences.”
He added: “War veterans, we know you have the capacity, as displayed during the liberation struggle, to mobilise people. We want you to persuade, through our ideology, people to be our members not to elect yourselves and disassociate yourselves from the party. No!”
President Mugabe said greedy party cadres would go the Mujuru cabal way, reminding them that the recently formed Zimbabwe People First party would not last the distance.
He said former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru, who was fired for plotting to topple him, had for long tried to destroy the party with the ‘Bhora Musango” concept but failed.
“It is surprising that now she claims that the elections were rigged,” President Mugabe said.
“You tell (Morgan) Tsvangirai (MDC-T leader) that the elections were rigged and where were you when they were being rigged? We will never steal elections because we have the support.”
President Mugabe went on: “We tried to develop her and even encouraged her to go to school but aah, takaona zvekuonerera zvakawanda. Nyaya yeambition ndiyo inoparira. Number one ndoyakapihwa vaMugabeka muna 2013 for five years. Tozoenda kumaelections kucongress kwedu. Anenge achidawo ouya pamberi. Vanhu kana vakuvhotera, vakuvhoteraka.”
He said while the Zanu-PF Women’s League was united, there was need for the Youth League to iron out differences and move in one direction.
He said something needed to be done at Altena Farm in Centenary, a place where liberation fighters marked the beginning of the second and decisive phase of the liberation struggle in 1972.
“If nothing had been done, we have to sit down and see what can be done. The farm should be in our hands,” President Mugabe said.