A FIERCE verbal war has erupted between war veterans and collaborators after the latter said they would withdraw their support for President Robert Mugabe if he continues to shield Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya on Sunday, urged Mugabe to dump Kasukuwere ahead of the 2018 general elections or else “they will both go down”.
But, Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators’ Association (Ziliwaco) chairperson Pupurai Togarepi yesterday called Mahiya to order saying: “If Mahiya or the ZNLWVA has a problem with an individual in this case the national commissar we do not have a problem with that, but they should not lump everyone along.”
“Ziliwaco takes serious exception where Cde Mahiya drags the President’s name into issues that concern particular individuals in the party. When we raise our view it must not appear as if we own the process, we are part of the revolution, but we have our extent in terms of advice. Ziliwaco will not accept any denigration of the President, but will continue to raise its concerns about party leaders who would have gone offside,” Togarepi said.
Contacted for comment, Mahiya remained defiant.
“The President as the appointing authority has the final say and that is why our unhappiness is aimed at him. It is nothing personal and Togarepi should know that Kasukuwere did not appoint himself commissar. We are just reminding the leadership of the revolutionary principles of listening to the people when they speak. They have spoken against the commissar and action must be taken,” Mahiya said.
Kasukuwere has been under pressure from Zanu PF activists across the country, who accused him of fanning divisions in the party and plotting to oust Mugabe. The Zanu PF commissar has denied the charges and a committee set up by Mugabe to investigate the issue is currently compiling a report after a whistle-stop visit to Bindura last week.
In an unrelated matter, ZNLWVA chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa yesterday said the former fighters welcomed Mugabe’s recent acknowledgement of the military’s role in his 37-year rule.
“We welcome wholeheartedly the President’s speech delivered at the burial of national hero Zenzo Ntuliki, especially his recognition and accolades showered upon our defence and security establishment which owes its existence to the pain and sacrifice of gallant young men and women of the 1960-70s,” Mutsvangwa said.
“We urge all Zimbabweans to ever cherish this glorious page in the history of our nation and to work even harder to overcome challenges and attain prosperity.”
Sections of the military and war veterans have thrown their weight behind Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the ongoing succession struggle in Zanu PF.