HARARE – ZIMBABWE’S former liberation fighters have given
President Robert Mugabe an ultimatum to announce his successor or lose
their vote in the 2018 watershed elections.
The veterans, whose membership is estimated at 30 000, are opposed to the
candidature of Mugabe (93) who is seeking another five-year term at the
Christopher Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’
Association (ZNLWVA) chairman, said they would stage a protest vote
against Mugabe if Zanu-PF did not field a different candidate.
Mutsvangwa contended Mugabe was a liability to the party that the veterans
have loyally supported over the years.
He said the aged leader had become a burden to the country he has ruled
since independence in 1980.
The war veterans’ chairman, who has been expelled from Zanu-PF for his
opposition to Mugabe’s continued leadership, demanded a congress to be
held to choose a successor to Mugabe.
“We are not going to be fooled into entering an election where the
candidate is not clear,” Mutsvangwa addressed media in the capital Harare.
“Let’s go and have the congress immediately. Let the people choose whom
they want to be the leader ahead of the elections (2018),” he said.
He predicted a defeat for Mugabe and the party in the next election.
Mugabe lost the poll to Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) in 2008, but retained power after the opposition leader
boycotted a rerun citing violence.
“If Mugabe decides to go to an election without a congress and as the
aluminium foil for the G40 candidate, the defeat of 2008 will be child’s
play because we will ensure the G40 loses.”
The G40 is a grouping of young ministers pushing for Mugabe’s wife, Grace
(52), to replace her husband.
The war veterans prefer Mugabe’s deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa (74), to the
controversial first lady, who has been vilifying Mnangagwa.
– CAJ News