HARARE – Veterans of the country’s liberation struggle have invited MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and western governments to assist in the fight to end President Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule.
Amid concerns from the former freedom fighters that Mugabe —who turns 94 next February — is closely working with the Generation (G40)— to purge the ruling party of veterans of the 70s struggle against white minority rule, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) leader Christopher Mutsvangwa told reporters on Saturday that the time has come for all progressives to work together.
“We have analysed the situation … and we have concluded that there are four pillars of stability for the modern State of Zimbabwe, the Chimurenga groups Zipra and Zanla who are the modern state apparatus of Zimbabwe, that includes regional balance with Zipra, (Zapu leader Dumiso) Dabengwa and people from Matabeleland, that’s why we want them to be part of the next government.
“We are also aware of the consistent vote of the MDC since 2000 and its appeal from the urban youths and we are also very grateful for the MDC’s support for Copac (Constitutional parliamentary committee) and the recognition of war veterans. Bygones are bygones with them, we are reaching out to all Zimbabweans,” said Mutsvangwa.
Since the emergence of the MDC in 1999 as a credible opposition party that cut Zanu PF support base especially in urban areas, the war veterans have been a constant spot of bother for the opposition.
Mutsvangwa also extended an olive branch to the white community that also suffered at the hands of war veterans, especially during the chaotic land grab programme.
“We are also reaching to the white Diaspora and white business community because they used to run the economy, they are well organised. If we can bring all these people and the new Diaspora into play, when the country stabilises, we will need all these people so that we can build a new Zimbabwe,” Mutsvangwa said.
Zimbabwe’s economy is presently in the doldrums, characterised by cash shortages, and sharp price hikes as well as acute shortage of hard currency.
“We are reaching to western countries, they have never been happy with the war veterans because they have never forgiven us for defeating Ian Smith. Now they have seen that the people whom they thought could run this country, the G40 are so incompetent, we are reaching out to western embassies and through them to their government to say can we form a new contract so that we can make this country recover,” he said.
Mutsvangwa said he has roped in Zapu leader Dabengwa, the former Home Affairs minister, in his diplomatic offensive.
The leader of the legally recognised representative body of ex-combatants, linked to the Team Lacoste faction led by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, said they were in the process of inviting war veterans and also the opposition for a crucial indaba that will discuss the country’s future.
Mutsvangwa also called upon all Zimbabweans to register to vote so as to stop the establishment of a “kleptocratic dynasty” by Mugabe and his influential wife Grace.
Grace is a key member of the G40 faction that is rabidly opposed to Mnangagwa’s alleged presidential ambitions.
The powerful first lady has belittled Mnangagwa, who was recently stripped of his ministry of Justice post, and has said he is “just an appointee of” her husband.
Ominously for Mnangagwa, the looming December special congress could seal his fate amid reports the G40 faction wants him demoted from his present post and possibly consigned to the dustbins of history.
The war veterans leader said they were not amused with the G40 machinations, and were on the ground canvassing and preparing the people to stand up against the sly plan to dethrone Mnangagwa.
“We are so happy that we found each other…Dabengwa will be one of our guiding lights. Indeed, we want to reach out to the fellow liberation regional fighters, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and others and Dabengwa will be leading that. I will be under his guidance because he has been always my leader.” DailyNews