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War veterans squeeze Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe’s meeting with war veterans next month will decide the fate of Zanu PF as the former fighters want the veteran ruler to deal with members of G40, their leader Chris Mutsvangwa said yesterday.

BY NUNURAI JENA

CHRISTOPHER MUTSVANGWA

Mutsvangwa made the declaration after another meeting of war veterans in Chinhoyi.

The fired War Veterans minister spoke soon after the Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial co-ordinating committee (PCC) had recommended his expulsion from the party for allegedly insulting Mugabe and his family. Zanu PF also held its meeting in Chinhoyi.

Mugabe on Friday said some war veterans wanted to force him out of power before his term ended.

He said the meeting with the former fighters would iron out some of the differences, but vowed that he would not be pushed out of power.

The war veterans yesterday resolved to put pressure on Mugabe to rein in Zanu PF politicians linked to G40 such as Saviour Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao.

G40 is linked to First Lady Grace Mugabe and the demands by the war veterans would pile pressure on the 92-year-old ruler as he seeks to deal with one of the most complex issues to confront Zanu PF in recent years.

The former fighters also defiantly put their weight behind Mutsvangwa despite his strained relationship with Mugabe.

Mutsvangwa said his expulsion from Zanu PF could only be confirmed at the meeting with Mugabe.

“It is free to mislead itself [PCC] but if they have any political sense, the patron addressed this issue yesterday [Friday]. He is going to meet the originals of Zanu PF and these are the war veterans,” he said.

“That’s where the fate of the party is going to be decided, including those who are sitting in council on these wayward decisions about these votes-of-no confidence on the people who made Zanu PF what it is today in Zimbabwe.”

Mutsvangwa added: “We created the conditions for Zanu PF to flourish in Zimbabwe and the president is going back to the original.”

The war veterans meeting was punctuated by slogans like “Down with G40”, “Down with Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo”.
The meeting was attended by eight provinces which all backed Mutsvangwa’s leadership of the ex-freedom fighters until the next congress in 2018.

Only Manicaland and Mashonaland Central did not attend the meeting.

Feared Masvingo war veteran Francis Zimuto popularly known as  “Black Jesus” declared war on  Kasukuwere whom he accused of misleading Mugabe.

“We are going to face Kasukuwere head on starting tomorrow when he comes to Masvingo we are ready for him. We will fight for our commander -in-chief Mugabe,” he said.

Relations between war veterans and the First Family became sour when Grace started attacking the former fighters at her countrywide rallies.

The situation worsened when anti-riot police brutally crashed their meeting in Harare with teargas and water cannons.

Mugabe subsequently fired Mutsvangwa as War Veterans minister, accusing him of organising an unsanctioned meeting to denigrate him and his wife.

War veterans are fighting in Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s corner in the race to succeed Mugabe. Mugabe has openly backed G40 in its battle against Mnangagwa’s faction.

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