Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
War veterans are fully behind President Mugabe and will vigorously campaign for Zanu-PF in next year’s harmonised elections, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) elder Cde Joseph Chinotimba has said.
Cde Chinotimba said war veterans and Zanu-PF could not be separated, as the two were bonded by the history of the liberation struggle.
He said war veterans should not be misled by reckless statements being made by some “lost and misguided elements” that are on the payroll of Western countries to denigrate President Mugabe and the revolutionary party.
Cde Chinotimba’s remarks were in response to statements made by ZNLWVA spokesperson Mr Douglas Mahiya over the weekend that President Mugabe would go down with under-fire Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere in next year’s elections if he failed to fire him.
Mr Mahiya was quoted as saying: “We can see through him (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.”Cde Chinotimba said Mr Mahiya was not only overstepping his mandate, but also overstating his influence in the war veterans’ constituency.
“I want to support what was said by the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Constantino Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga on Mahiya,” he said.
“Who is Mahiya to denigrate our patron President Mugabe? I am an elder in the ZNLWVA and I want to make it very clear that as war veterans, we are fully behind President Mugabe.
“We are not party to what was said by Mahiya. He was not representing war veterans. We are the war veterans.“In any case, he was expelled from the party and if he wants to join politics, he should simply do that and not pretend to hide behind the banner of war veterans.
“Some of us as war veterans, we have constituencies that we represent, but Mahiya was defeated in Harare, so he should not lie to himself and think that he has a following.”
Cde Chinotimba, who is also the Buhera South legislator, said the ZNLWVA was a welfare organisation and should stick to that mandate.“We will stand by our President, whether he is old or not,” he said.
“It’s up to the people of Zimbabwe to decide and not Mahiya. As Zimbabweans, we still love our President. People tarnish the names of our leaders and Mahiya speaks as if he has been sent by someone with a view to divide the party.”
Mr Mahiya seemed to be a lone ranger in the path of denigrating President Mugabe as chairman of the war veterans association, Mr Chris Mutsvangwa, yesterday praised President Mugabe’s visionary leadership.