Sunday, 2 October 2016

WAR VETS SLAM VIOLENT G40

War veterans have made sensational claims that Zanu PF young Turks who go by the moniker Generation 40 (G40) are behind the recent spate of violence around the country which saw a former diplomat and three other officials belonging to the fledgling Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) being savaged by mobs in Guruve last week.

The claim also comes after mayhem hit Harare on Tuesday, when a shadowy group rioted and clashed with police in the capital’s central business district, amid stunning allegations that they were members of a Zanu PF “successionist faction” — code for supporters of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa — who are allegedly working to oust President Robert Mugabe from power before his current term ends in 2018.

But war veterans secretary-general Victor Matemadanda on Friday, told the Daily News on Sunday that it was in fact the G40 who were allegedly behind the recent violence using Zanu PF youths to effectively compromise and besmirch Mugabe’s name.

“We have just discovered that there is a group of people in government who are working clandestinely to portray Zimbabwe in bad shape in the eyes of the international community.

“They are pushing for the president to be found at fault by the international community.
“These are people who are pretending to be good to the president but are working with the police and organising the youths to brutalise the people.

“This has also in a way removed the false notion that war veterans brutalise people.
“It is actually the war veterans that are being assaulted and it is now for the people to see that the war veterans are not the ones brutalising the people,” Matemadanda said.

His comments come after retired brigadier general and former diplomat Agrippah Mutambara and three other Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) bigwigs were left for dead following an attack by seemingly deranged Zanu PF youths in Guruve last Sunday.

The barbaric attacks by axe-wielding ruling party mobs against the ZPF officials also saw property worth tens of thousands of dollars, including two vehicles, being destroyed in the historically volatile Mashonaland Central province — as fears grow that this is a harbinger of worse violence to come in the next few months.

Rights groups and opposition figures who spoke to the Daily News on Sunday said the gruesome attacks were a clear indication that Mugabe and Zanu PF would increasingly use terror to silence Zimbabwe’s restless populace ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

Matemadanda challenged Mugabe and his government to investigate all the cases of violence and bring the culprits to book.

“As war veterans, we condemn violence. We respect the Constitution and the rule of law. Everyone involved should be brought to book because the dangerous scenario is that Zimbabwe is being portrayed in bad light.

“The government must investigate the issues, because the perpetrators are known,” he said.

War vets have become arch critics of Mugabe following their decision to serve the nonagenarian with divorce papers in July, after growing disillusioned with what they said was his misrule of the past 36 years, as well as his bad attitude towards them.

This came after the former freedom fighters were accused by the G40 of backing Mnangagwa’s mooted presidential ambitions. The G40 which is strongly opposed to the Midlands Godfather’s ascendancy to power.

Zanu PF’s seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars, which political analysts say were triggered by Mugabe’s decision not to put on the table a clear succession plan, have split Zanu PF into two distinct and bitterly opposed camps.

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