Tuesday, 29 August 2017


 War veterans yesterday accused President Robert Mugabe of “re-writing” history after the 93-year-old stunned Zanu PF supporters on Saturday when he suggested that Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa had bad relations with his late predecessor, Simon Muzenda.

Mugabe told mourners at the National Heroes Acre, where he was officiating at the burial of Muzenda’s widow, Moudy, that Mnangagwa had driven his late deputy out of Midlands back to his home province of Masvingo.

“Muzenda came to me saying the guys from Midlands are chasing us and I asked who in particular? And he said Emmerson and his team,” Mugabe told mourners.

Mnangagwa is the most senior Zanu PF leader in the Midlands province and also enjoys massive support in Zanu PF structures in Masvingo province in his alleged quest to become Zimbabwe’s next president.

Mugabe’s remarks were, however, strongly rebuffed by Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda, a self-confessed Mnangagwa supporter.

“He is a master in division. Why would he talk about it only just now if it happened at all? VaMuzenda bade us farewell, he never said he was hounded out of the province. The old man wants to divide the Karanga people.

“I’m sorry to talk tribal for the first time in my life. We will not allow one person to divide us, to divide Zimbabwe. He has benefited from the diverse vote for many years and wants to create tribal trouble when he’s reached his final station,” charged Matemadanda who also hails from the Midlands province.

“Zimbabwe is not and will never at any time become a country for one tribe it is for us all.
“Everyone will remember that the same Mugabe once addressed people saying, he was not happy that Muzenda had decided to go to his home province in his last days. Why would he want to put everything bad on Mnangagwa?

“Mr President, ED (Mnangagwa’s initials) is a comrade I know better than you. He fought in the war as a trained soldier. He has served you, not me, bravely, consistently and persistently. Why should he be treated worse than the two disasters in your Cabinet,” added Matemadanda.

“Attention will never be swayed from the current mess that the economy is in; high levels of corruption and interference in the administration of justice by pronouncing verdicts that should come from courts at political rallies. The people of Masvingo, Midlands and indeed all other provinces of Zimbabwe will never stoop so low as to be divided easily,” said Matemadanda.

Muzenda moved to the Midlands town of Umvuma in 1955 and started his own carpentry business.

He also stayed active in political activism there before moving to Gweru where his activism earned him the position of Zanu deputy organising secretary at the party’s inaugural elective congress in May 1964.

He only relocated to Masvingo in the late 1990s and viciously fought with fellow nationalist Edson Zvobgo for the control of the province until his death on September 20, 2003.
Mugabe’s speech appears to have inflamed tempers among ruling party members in the volatile province ahead of his youth interface rally to be held in Gweru on Friday.

“That was great disrespect for ED. Remember that unlike what the president said, Muzenda was protected by ED.

“Remember (the late opposition party leader Patrick) Kombayi was shot and seriously wounded by State security agents because he wanted to wrest the Gweru parliamentary seat from Muzenda. So how can the same man who protected him also be the one that drove him out of the province?” one Zanu PF central committee member told the Daily News yesterday.


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