Africa In The News

Cracks widen further between Mugabe and war vets

HARARE – ZIMBABWE’S liberation war veterans have reiterated
opposition to President Mugabe’s candidature or the ascension of his wife,
Grace, to the presidency ahead of next year’s elections.

The veterans of the 1970s struggle that freed Zimbabwe from British
colonial rule said they would mobilise all former fighters and
stakeholders within the ruling Zanu-PF to resist a Mugabe ‘fiefdom’.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) chairman,
Christopher Mutsvangwa, said thousands of fighters have made sacrifices to
liberate the country yet after 37 years of independence, too much power
was vested in an individual (President Mugabe alone).

Mugabe (93) has been in power during that period while his wife (52) has
wielded influence in recent years in line to ascend to the vice presidency
and eventually succeed her husband of 21 years.

A faction informally known as the G-40 (Generation 40), consisting mainly
of younger members of Mugabe’s party is advocating for the first lady to
succeed Mugabe at the expense of people’s choice and deputy president
Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The vocal veterans expressed opposition to such manoeuvres.

“A call by the war veterans is for the people of Zimbabwe to stand guard
against possible abuse of state machinery to advance G-40 factional
agenda,” Mutsvangwa said.

He said the ideal situation to resolve the succession debate in the
liberation movement was to hold an elective special congress before the
2018 elections.

“Then the party can elect a new leader to represent the party in those
elections,” Mutsvangwa said.

The war veterans favour Mugabe’s first deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to
succeed the aged leader.

They have singled out Mugabe for wrecking the Southern African country’s
vibrant economy through corruption and maladministration.

Relations between the 30 000-member association of war veterans and the
ruling party have fractured after its leadership was axed from Zanu-PF for
outspokenness against Mugabe’s regime.

Before relations strained, they were a key pillar to Mugabe’s longevity in
power.

The “war vets” spearheaded violent campaigns against the opposition and
led the seizure of white-owned farms since 2000.

–  CAJ News

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