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DISGRUNTLED war veterans have vowed to confront President Robert Mugabe, railroad him to restore “Zanu PF’s lost ideology” and turn the sword against the G40 leaders whom they accused of hijacking the politburo.
The G40 is a grouping of Zanu PF Young Turks believed to be fronted by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Of late, the grouping has led a systematic purge on Zanu PF founding members and war veterans perceived to be aligned to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa as part of a wider plot to remove them from the ruling party’s succession matrix.
Both factions are jostling to strategically position themselves in the Zanu PF succession race for the ageing Mugabe who turned 92 last month.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association secretary–general Victor Matemadanda told NewsDay yesterday that his executive had launched nationwide mass mobilisation rallies to sensitise members on the gravity of the matter before their no-holds-barred meeting with Mugabe “anytime soon”.
“The party has been hijacked and that is what we want to tell our patron that we feel the party has lost it. We hope he will listen to us. But at the moment, we are busy mobilising and bringing back in the association every war veteran outside there who could have been forced out by this ill-treatment taking place in our party,” Matemadanda said.
Other reported G40 top officials include Zanu national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, politburo members Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao, although they have publicly distanced themselves from the faction.
Matemadanda’s remarks came after embattled war veterans’ chairperson, Chris Mutsvangwa and his predecessor Jabulani Sibanda jointly addressed a rally in Bulawayo over the weekend where they resolved to placate Zanu PF from the jaws of “malcontents who want to destroy it from within”.
War veterans, who have been the vanguard of the governing party since the liberation struggle and had violently campaigned for its victory in past elections, have lately been on the receiving end after being hounded by the G40 faction whose members reportedly now dominate the politburo.
“As far as we are concerned, the politburo should be the secretariat of the central committee, but has been reduced to become a disciplinary committee. More time is being spent on trivial issues while the people are suffering.
“The welfare of the war veterans has been neglected, but we will not sit down and watch. As freedom fighters, this is not what we fought for. We will force the party to do the right thing and those who are causing chaos in the party today will go,” Matemadanda said.
“We are currently going around the country mobilising our membership and uniting the war veterans so that we can approach our patron who happens to the leader of Zanu PF and tell him what we think about this party.
“There is discontent within the war veterans. War veterans feel that the ethos and ideals of the struggle have been missed along the way.”
Matemadanda added: “And it is our duty to ensure we take back the party to its original state. How can you have a politburo handling disciplinary cases meant for a district?
“How can you explain that a member of a cell is disciplined by the politburo? What is the role of the provincial disciplinary committee.”
New War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube, last week disclosed that he had asked Mugabe to delay meeting the war veterans until they have united. This was after ex-Zipra cadres had reportedly threatened to sever ties with the ZNLWVA and vowed to form their own welfare organisation.
Mutsvangwa was, two weeks ago, suspended from Zanu PF alongside his wife, Monica on allegations of causing divisions and factionalism within the party before they both lost their government posts.
Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday refused to comment on the matter and challenged Matemadanda to prove that the party had been hijacked.
“He (Matemadanda) should explain who has hijacked the party and what he means as losing the track.
“I can’t comment on his thoughts, it is his right to think like that as long as he has evidence to back up his statements,” Khaya Moyo said. By Xolisani Ncube