POLITBURO member Cephas Msipa says Zanu PF should rein in war veterans and stop them from interfering in the affairs of the party because they are just an affiliate member without powers to direct its affairs.
By Ndamu Sandu
“He [President Robert Mugabe] knows that Zanu is a party and war veterans are an affiliate of Zanu PF. I don’t need to tell the President, he knows that,” Msipa said yesterday.
The former Midlands governor said he feels insulted when war veterans are given carte blanche to villify and insult party leaders.
“There is need to respect leadership. The leadership is not just comrade Mugabe. We have a Vice-President, ministers and members of the politburo who should be treated with respect. It’s not a one-man affair,” said Msipa, who has become the voice of reason in the fractious Zanu PF party.
Msipa said war veterans “have no business to instruct members of the central committee and politburo”.
“The party doesn’t take instructions from war veterans. If that is clear, it will create an understanding in the party. As long as we allow them to interfere in party matters, we will continue to have problems,” he said.
Msipa’s remarks came as a section of the war veterans’ body warned senior Zanu PF members such as administration secretary Didymus Mutasa and politburo members Webster Shamu and Tendai Savanhu that they have to change or face the axe. Mutasa, Shamu and Savanhu are linked to a faction led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
The body, calling itself Committee of Elders, has been in the spotlight since joining the endorsement bandwagon on First Lady Grace Mugabe to lead the Zanu PF’s women’s league.
The body recently expelled its leader Jabulani Sibanda for ridiculing the First Family. This was after Sibanda refused to attend rallies held by Grace saying he would not be party to a gathering which attacks party leaders.
Grace used her rallies to attack Mujuru while propping up the faction led by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mujuru and Mnangagwa are leading factions battling to succeed Mugabe. Mugabe, who turns 91 in February, has shown no signs of passing the baton despite advanced age and ill-health. After the entry of Grace into active politics, analysts say she now holds keys to Mugabe’s successor and is directing his actions.