HomeLocalG40 to blame for succession politics, bond notes resistance: War veterans

G40 to blame for succession politics, bond notes resistance: War veterans

AFTER going into self-imposed hibernation for weeks, combative Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association chairman Christopher Mutsvangwa is back and, as has become his trademark, is pulling no punches. Mutsvangwa has allegedly threatened “bloodbath” if the former freedom fighters’ choice of successor to President Robert Mugabe, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa is stopped. The Standard reporter Richard Chidza (RC) caught up with Mutsvangwa (CM) and war veterans’ association spokesperson Douglas Mahiya (DM) to discuss the war veterans’ latest position on Mnangagwa and other issues.

Below are excerpts;

RC: After months of dithering, war veterans have come out clearly declaring their position relating to the succession issue in Zanu PF. What has inspired this?

CM: Our rooting for ED [Mnangagwa] is based on the historical experience of our national liberation struggle.

People rise to seniority based on their personal record of fighting for the people. This helps to create solid structures that underpin revolutionary continuity. Our [Zanu PF] Zanla wing has scrupulously stuck to that tested formula.

Our Zanu arm had a dalliance with disaster in 2004 when we departed from the norm and frog-jumped a junior, simple-minded and undeserving Joice Mujuru. We lived to be haunted by that near disaster and Zanu PF had to expel her at great pain and cost in 2015. Once bitten twice shy.

RC: President Mugabe has warned anyone pushing for a discussion of the succession issue, why does it seem you are going against his command?

CM: The position on ED does not in any way pose any threat to our icon, President Mugabe and the party leadership. Quite the contrary, it actually bolsters his position. That way, he is protected by tried and trusted cadres as opposed to arrivistes; G40 vultures that have been hovering around him. We chose him in 1979 because we trusted him. If one is going to lay his life on the battlefield, you want to be cocksure of the vision, commitment and loyalty of your commander-in-chief. You just cannot dice with the only life the creator gave you. That is why our bond to Mugabe is a matter of blood bonds of shared revolutionary credentials. A wartime deserter and compulsive plotter together with his G40 ilk, Jonathan Moyo cannot fathom this kind of sacred bond wrought through blood and iron for the sake of freedom.

RC: So the president was not referring to war veterans when he warned against succession discussion or that supporting anyone is akin to treason?

CM: He meant G40 because they are the ones who even coined the term secessionists. War veterans advocate continuity and the orderly passing on of the baton. That is the norm in all revolutionary parties. We stand four square by his leadership and the traditions of the party. G40, as Acie Lumumba has shown, are of the political fair weather. War vets are all weather cadres. War veterans are bonded in collective security as a matter of survival in the war of independence.

You touch one, you provoke all. As chairman, I am duty-bound to defend His Excellency as war veteran number one and his VP as number two in that order, as well as all service chiefs of Zanla and Zipra pedigree.

RC: Have you threatened bloodshed if Mnangagwa does not succeed in taking over from President Mugabe?

CM: Those are concocted lies, the same minutes they are branding around and hoodwinking people into believing they are from our meetings. I never signed such minutes as leader of war veterans. They are a G40 creation, in the same vein as the infamous claims that Mutsvangwa wrote a letter of apology to the president.

*Mahiya jumps into the conversation . . .

DM: Mutsvangwa never talked anything by normal standards suggesting the word bloodshed. It has been hated from the time of the liberation war by all those who saw real combat. Freedom fighters often had a saying that expressed how much human beings hated war. “War is not a dinner party” and nobody invites war but it comes to you and you are left with no option but to defend yourself. War veterans hate to pronounce the word bloodshed, let alone experience the reality. Bloodbath can only be pronounced by those who understand the word from its dictionary meaning and not its reality. It leaves no one else in this country other than these sponsored mercenaries to fathom war against a defenceless citizenry and peaceful populace.

RC: Is there ever going to be a common position between war veterans and this group that you call G40?

DM: The continued concoction of lies and unbridled greed for power is the reason that the G40 group does not see eye to eye with war veterans, just as was the case with their cousins in Rhodesia who would shoot a war veteran on sight today.

The minutes being referred to are unfounded because never in the nature of rallies would somebody be able to take minutes. these are manufactured for the purposes of propping up a consistent lie and get to set up the president against war veterans. T

hey want to create tension and give the president reason to be angry with war veterans on his return or for the purpose of seeking to cause our arrest for breaking the laws of the country we gave birth to, or better still, cause the banning of our association. The architects of the so-called minutes and the unpatriotic statements therein sell themselves out by claiming these were authored at a rally and distributed as such. The war veterans’ leadership has consistently expressed the discipline instilled in all cadres during the war and continue in that vein.

RC: War veterans have also made comments around the issue of bond coins and the economic problems the country is facing. Do you have confidence that government can find solutions?

CM: It is common cause that G40 and the post-colonial Rhodesian interests they serve are ferociously undermining both Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya. They pine to have hyper-inflationist Gideon Gono (former governor of RBZ) take charge of national finances. Day and night G40 digs the ground to sink the valiant and well-meaning Zimbabweans. They are scared and loathful of the sterling work Chinamasa and Mangudya have done with international financial institutions and global creditors. G40 sees the unfolding success as a mortal threat to their long-pursued agenda of regime change. As carrions of death, they panic at the prospect of restored prosperity to Zimbabwe.

RC: Do you think you will win the war to as you say “restore Zanu PF” to its owners?

CM: G40 are running scared that their umbilical link to the First Family is breaking. So they are creating scaremongers. War vets are on the same page with the deprived populace. War vets support efforts at economic management by treasury and the RBZ, including international engagement with creditors, Special Economic Zones Bill and other efforts. We applaud their initiatives to attract new foreign direct investment. We hail the signing of the South-North Beitbridge to Chirundu highway project by (Transport) minister Joram Gumbo at a time new Botswana-Zambia Kazungula bridge is creating competition.

RC: Your view on the cash shortages?

CM: The present cash shortage has its origins in G40 (Patrick) Zhuwao (Youth and Indigenisation minister) and his criminal and reckless unilateral proclamation of a levy in Marondera. He promised a monetary gravy train to his youths. The funds were to be extorted as an indigenisation levy by youthful goons reminiscent of Chipangano in 2000. Frightened banks and businessmen dashed to withdraw their deposits. By the time His Excellency belatedly called him to order, the game was done. The rot had set in. Now we are harvesting the financial tsunami of unbridled ambition and kleptocratic greed.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading