Thursday, 28 July 2016


VICE President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday survived a planned purge by his foes, as mutinous war veterans backing his bid for power remained defiant, warning that they were prepared to die for expressing their dissatisfaction with the ruling ZANU-PF.

 A group of war veterans who earlier this year failed to wrest power from expelled party cadre, Christopher Mutsvangwa, called for an emergency meeting of mainly war veterans, ex-detainees and collaborators after a stinging communiqué crafted by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), discrediting President Robert Mugabe and his government.

 Mutsvangwa is the leader of ZNLWVA, an institution that has traditionally been aligned to ZANU-PF.

 At yesterday’s meeting at the ruling party’s headquarters, Mandi Chimene, who had earlier imposed herself as the ZNLWVA interim chairperson, but was interdicted by the High Court from doing so after a failed bid to oust Mutsvangwa, said Mnangagwa should be chucked out of the party.

 She accused the Vice President of leading a faction plotting the removal of President Mugabe from office in order to takeover power.

Chimene, who reminded President Mugabe that he was the appointing authority, said: “If you can’t fire him, let us go for an emergency congress right away where we will do it for you.”

 However, President Mugabe, who clearly indicated that he was disgusted by the war veterans’ criticism of his leadership, said he was not going to reshuffle the presidium.
“We shall keep together at the top. We shall remain united,” he said.    

 “The wings of the party, Youth League, Women’s League, need to be united. I am glad that we have maintained that unity and I hope we shall maintain it until 2018,” he said.

Very few war veterans attended the meeting, which had been described by a section of war veterans aligned to a faction opposed to Mnangagwa as “a must attend” meeting.

Away from the meeting, war veterans accused of planning the President’s removal from power said even though they were cognisant of the fact that the ensuing witch-hunt from a communiqué issued after their no-holds barred meeting last week could turn ugly as ZANU-PF tried to contain the unexpected onslaught from the former combatants, they remained unrelenting.

“We know that things are going to get really bad. There will be arrests and possibly killings, but this is not new to us as fighters. We witnessed people being shot at Mukushi in Zambia, at Chimoio and Nyadzonya in Mozambique. There is nothing new in such a struggle. We are prepared for anything,” said ZNLWVA spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya.

Mahiya was referring to the time when dozens of guerilla war combatants were summarily shot in Zambia and Mozambique at the height of the 1970s liberation war following the death of the then leader of ZANU, Herbert Chitepo, who had been assassinated in a car bomb blast in the Zambian capital, Lusaka on March 18, 1975. financial gazette


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