War veterans are warning
of bloodshed if VP Mnangagwa does not take over from President Mugabe.
The warning was
reportedly issued by war veterans’ chairman Christopher Mutsvangwa while
addressing former freedom fighters in Gweru at the weekend.
“If anyone goes against
VP (Mnangagwa), it is against the revolutionary cadres,” minutes of the war
veterans’ meeting seen by NewsDay read. “He said if anyone derails the aim of
succession, he or she will cause bloodshedding in the country (sic).”
reportedly told the meeting Mnangagwa was the only person to succeed Mugabe and
was “the only man known in China”.
The war veterans’
chairman told the meeting he had been asked in China who would succeed Mugabe
and he put forward Mnangagwa’s name in “order to attract the Chinese
Mugabe’s succession is
often a prickly subject, with the veteran leader saying those angling for his
post were being treasonous.
In a strange twist of
events, when asked about the bloodshed threats, Mutsvangwa yesterday claimed
these were a creation of the G40 faction.
contemptuously condemn the G40 smear campaign to taint them through association
with bloodshed or other anti-democratic actions. This is specious calumny from
the G40 camp concocted specifically by its founder Jonathan Moyo,” he said in
“He (Moyo) is miffed at
the success of the April indaba between the war veterans and their patron
(Mugabe). It re-created unbreakable bonds between freedom fighters and their iconic
leader. It laid to waste the shameless machinations of the G40 aimed at
Mutsvangwa said since
the “game-changing and historic indaba”, there was pandemonium and confusion in
the ranks of the “discredited” G40.
He claimed G40 members were
no longer being welcomed by the First Family and Western embassies that used to
dine with them.
“War veterans delivered
freedom to Zimbabwe and the present democratic dispensation. They will never
find themselves at cross-purpose with the suffering masses,” Mutsvangwa
In the minutes of the
meeting seenby NewsDay, Mutsvangwa also insinuated that G40 members were
pushing Mugabe’s hand to axe service chiefs.
“He (Mutsvangwa) also
accused the G40 of influencing His Excellency (Mugabe) to select new blood for
army chiefs. He said this will not happen and [they] will remove the G40
group,” the minutes read.
uncharacteristically lashed out at the country’s security chiefs at the Zanu PF
annual conference in December last year in Victoria Falls, accusing them of
dabbling in succession politics.
secretary-general Victor Matemadanda, who also spoke at the meeting, twisted
the knife even further into G40, naming politburo members Saviour Kasukuwere,
Moyo and women’s league deputy head Eunice Sandi-Moyo as the kingpins of the
faction who deserved to be sacked by the party.
“He (Matemadanda) said
Kasukuwere, Sandi-Moyo, (Energy minister Samuel) Undenge, Moyo (must) be
expelled from the party, while the issue of Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko
is being discussed,” the minutes further show.
The former freedom
fighters, a few months ago, said they had passed a no-confidence vote on Mphoko
Minutes of the Gweru
meeting also show that in the aftermath of the death of suspended women’s
league secretary for administration, Espinah Nhari, last month, the war
veterans demanded the position be assumed by someone from Midlands province.
“The position of women’s
league secretary-general (secretary for administration) must come back to
Midlands,” Matemadanda is recorded as having said.
Nhari was suspended by
the ruling party’s politburo for allegedly chanting an anti-G40 slogan during
First Lady Grace Mugabe’s rally in Gutu last year.
War Veterans minister
Tshinga Dube on Wednesday distanced himself from the war veterans’ resolutions.
“I don’t think it is the
correct way of doing things. I don’t know about the resolutions,” he said.
Mnangagwa had not yet revealed any intention of taking over from Mugabe.
“We don’t involve
ourselves in issues of war veterans. I cannot comment because Mnangagwa himself
is not involved in that,” she said.
“Mnangagwa didn’t say
that and I don’t know where they are getting it from. We are not on the side
fighting Mnangagwa and when the time comes, we will still be doing our work." newsday