War veterans say attempts by some Zanu-PF officials to separate them from their patron, President Mugabe, will not work as they share values hinged on liberation ethos.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general Cde Victor Matemadanda said they expected the revolutionary party to emerge stronger after their crunch indaba with President Mugabe tomorrow.
Some sections of the media have claimed that ZNLWVA chairperson Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa and his executive wanted President Mugabe removed from his position.
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“Those are attempts by some people who joined the party recently who think they can just join the party today and isolate President Mugabe from the comrades that he toiled for this country with during the liberation struggle,” said Cde Matemadanda.
“War veterans cannot be separated from the President. He is their leader and he has been one since the liberation struggle. He has led them very well.”
Cde Matemadanda said their major concern were some Zanu-PF officials who were bent on destroying the party by cooking up allegations against some party comrades so that they could be expelled from the party.
He said war veterans were fully behind President Mugabe as evidenced by their relentless campaign for him.
“War veterans do not have any personal misunderstanding with the President. What they have is a problem with people who go around the President lying about their intentions. If you want to compare, Mutsvangwa is the first person to criticise Mai Mujuru and he stood his ground in defence of President Mugabe and the party while Jonathan Moyo and his gang were quiet.
“Jonathan is known for trying to cause regime change. It’s on record.
We have it recorded where he vows that he wants to destroy Zanu-PF from within. We have not known any baptism that he went through to change his heart from wanting to destroy the party.
“But because these people do not have anything of their own, we have said Saviour Kasukuwere (National Political Commissar) has destroyed the party, Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao are doing the same.
“These young people such as Shadreck Mashayamombe who are on record as openly saying Mai Mugabe should go kwaZvimba and all of a sudden, he becomes a darling. This is why we are wondering.
“If you look at the people who claim to be close to the President today, they are the ones who have openly criticised the President. What we know is that these people want to cause expulsion of real Zanu-PF people so that they push the party to People First or Gamatox where they belong,” said Cde Matemadanda.
He said these were the same people who sought to distance President Mugabe from his fellow liberators.
Cde Matemadanda said war veterans were fully behind the First Family, but would do everything within their power to protect them from having their names abused by people who joined the revolutionary party after the liberation struggle.
He also took a swipe at Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Mandi Chimene, who recently claimed that she had taken over leadership of the ZNLWVA from Cde Mutsvangwa.
The High Court barred her from masquerading as ZNLWVA chairperson.
“Mandi Chimene is a Minister of Government who swore to uphold the Constitution of the country, but she is the same minister who is defying a High Court order and we are surprised why she is not arrested and why authorities are letting her do what she is doing.
“It is not the war veterans who are being looked down upon but it is the Constitution of Zimbabwe that she is trampling on. By allowing that to happen what are we saying to the world? Are we saying Zimbabwe does not observe the rule of law? We are seeing confusion and this is what we want to talk about,” said Cde Matemadanda.
He said they expected tomorrow’s indaba with President Mugabe to reinforce the spirit of the liberation struggle.
“Obviously we want to emerge united, focused and pushing the revolution forward. This indaba is not about personalities. It is about the country, it is about the party, it is about the revolution and it is about the legacy that we should all protect.
“This thing of saying this one is more Zanu-PF than the other should be a thing of the past because whether one is in the Politburo or party district, the card is the same. So we should be bound by the membership and the constitution of the party,” he said.