THE Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association chairperson Mr Christopher Mutsvangwa yesterday saluted President Mugabe for appreciating the country’s defence and security apparatus and his sterling role in nation building barely 24 hours after the association’s spokesperson Mr Douglas Mahiya criticised the Head of State and Government for protecting national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere and threatened to work for the veteran leader’s downfall.
Mr Mahiya was quoted by the NewsDay criticising President Mugabe and vowing to work for his dislodgement.
“We had expected the leadership of the party to act with speed because this is an issue we have been pushing for a long time. There is nothing special about Kasukuwere. Nobody raised the issue of the constitution when we were expelled, but now they want to appear to be following it.”
“We can see through him (President Mugabe). He wants an emasculated Kasukuwere, so he can use him in the creation of his dynasty. It is not going to work. They will both go down.”
Mr Mahiya is also quoted saying war veterans would field a candidate to challenge Kasukuwere in his Mt Darwin South constituency in 2018.
Cde Kasukuwere stands accused of creating parallel structures across all provinces in a move his critics said was aimed at dislodging President Mugabe and winning power in the event of an extraordinary Zanu-PF congress.
But Mr Mutsvangwa was singing a different tune yesterday.
In a press statement, he welcomed President Mugabe’s speech at the burial of national hero Cde Zenzo Ntuliki on Saturday and applauded him for nation building.
“We as war veterans, wholeheartedly welcome His Excellency President Robert Mugabe and Commander in Chief’s speech delivered at the burial of National Hero Cde Zenzo Ntuliki. We are particularly heartened by the recognition and the 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 1960s–70s,” said Mr Mutsvangwa.
“The generation of youthful patriots selflessly bore arms as Zanla and Zipra to dislodge the evil minority racist settler colonial regime and gave birth to the new State of Zimbabwe. In equal measure we salute both President Mugabe and the late Joshua Nkomo for providing the militant leadership leading us to freedom and independence in 1980 and their subsequent sterling roles in nation building.”
Mr Mutsvangwa urged Zimbabweans “to ever cherish this glorious page in the history of our nation”.
He also urged Zimbabweans to work harder to overcome challenges and attain prosperity for the people.