War veterans have once again demanded that President Robert Mugabe must fire Zanu PF commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, days after the veteran ruler refused to entertain their demands to rein in the G40 faction now calling the shots in the ruling party.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Mugabe met the former fighters at a meeting attended by over 10 000 people in Harare last Thursday where he deliberately avoided responding to demands for him to act on factionalism tearing Zanu PF apart.
He insists that war veterans are mere affiliates of the party and cannot dictate how Zanu PF should be run.
This followed a vote of no confidence passed by the liberation war veterans on Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, Kasukuwere and Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao.
Mphoko and the ministers are linked to the G40 faction, allegedly led by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
The war veterans reserved most of their venom at the meeting for Kasukuwere, but Mugabe ignored them. But Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said they were not giving up the fight against Kasukuwere, setting the stage for another confrontation with Mugabe.
“The NEC [national executive committee] reviewed the meeting with the president and thanked members for their sincerity and commitment to the party through the recommendations they made to their patron and the president,” he said.
“The recommendations were made within the spirit of keeping the ideals of the revolution and in all honesty.
“He [Kasukuwere] is not only unsuitable, but also not qualified because he has not been through the mill.
“He did not go through the ideological education and orientation that war veterans went through. That is why the party is facing so many problems”.
Efforts to obtain comment from Kasukuwere were fruitless as his mobile phones went unanswered yesterday.
Mahiya said they would find a way to ensure that Mugabe listened to their demands.
“We have made our position clear and the leader of our party and county, our commander is aware of the feelings of the revolutionaries in Zanu PF,” he added.
“He is aware of the feelings of the very people he commanded during the struggle and the authors of our nation.
“We will give it time so that the president will find a way of dealing with these issues.
“We also think that if Kasukuwere understands the value of the struggle, the reason why so many people died he would step down.”
He said he saw nothing wrong with war veterans demanding that their party be led by people who understood its ideology.
“We will continue to push for the implementation of our resolution and through the proper party channels,” he said.
“There is nothing wrong with war veterans making these demands and recommendations because they are meant to sustain the revolution and make sure that the party does not die or disintegrate.”
At the meeting with Mugabe last Thursday, the former freedom fighters demanded that they be given control of the ruling party’s welfare, lands, security and commissariat department.
They claimed the ruling party has lost its way and in danger of implosion.
Mahiya said the war veterans leadership was “dismayed” by the contents of the welfare committee’s presentation.
“It seemed the recommendations and resolutions had been doctored and we will be revisiting that to investigate what might have happened. We were really disappointed,” he said.
The presenter of the resolutions under the thematic committee of statutory benefits breezed through and took less than ten minutes while other presenters seemed to have more detailed reports.
War veterans are linked to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction, which is fighting against G40 in the battle to succeed Mugabe.