There will be severe repercussions for members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association who are inciting instability in Zanu-PF, President Robert Mugabe has warned.
The 92-year-old, battling deadly factional fighting in his party, said that Zanu-PF did not take orders from affiliate organisations and was prepared to disengage with associations whose members were unwilling to abide by the ruling party rules and procedures.
Addressing party supporters at Harare International Airport who had come to welcome him home yesterday after an official visit to Japan, Mugabe said it was common custom that war veterans and their representative organisations were subservient to the party.
He also said the party would convene a Central Committee meeting this week where the organ’s disciplinary committee would deliberate on appeals by party members suspended or fired on various allegations.
The Central Committee is the party’s highest-decision making body between congresses. The ZNLWVA leadership has found itself at the centre of factional fights in Zanu-PF. The association’s chair Christopher Mutsvangwa was recently suspended from the party and expelled from Cabinet for alleged “misconduct and disloyalty”.
Mutsvangwa and members of his national executive have, in spite of the censure, continued to make public statements indicating they want a fight.
A fortnight ago Mutsvangwa chaired a war veterans meeting that claimed to pass a no-confidence vote on party and State Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko.
Mugabe is set to meet over 10 000 war veterans on Thursday where issues of indiscipline are expected to be topical.
Yesterday the President said those who continued to show disloyalty would suffer the same fate as former Vice-President Dr Joice Mujuru and her supporters.
He said: “Ndinoda kuti tirambe takabatana, tirambe tichitevera gwara. Ava vanouya nemativi kana nepasi vataiti zviye zvipfukuto ivavo ndovatinosungirwa kuona kuti tavabvisa mumusangano. Haungave nhengo yemusangano isingade kutevera gwara remusangano. Kana uchiyenda nerweseri uchida kuputsa musangano, uchiri nhengo here?
“Uchinekodzero here? Saka hatizvide izvozvo. Saka musangano ndiwo unotara gwara, musangano ndiwo unechinangwa. Tingaite ma associations edu akati kuti — charitable associations even ma war veterans associations, but they are just associations.”
He said the war veterans association was free to table its grievances through properly laid down structures. No association, he said, had the authority to dictate to Zanu-PF leaders how to run the party.
Mugabe said war veterans who fell foul of Zanu-PF’s regulations should excuse themselves from the party. The late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s last wish on his death bed, President Mugabe said, was for Zimbabwean’s to remain united. This, President Mugabe said, should guide all party members.
“Saka musangano ndiwo unotungamirira ma associations ose ndiwo unopa gwara. Watsauka warasika. Wava chipfukuto, Gamatox. Vatsauka ngavayeuke izvozvo vayende mugwara saka tinoda gwara nekuti tisina gwara hapana kwationoyenda tinorasika.
“Saka imi mose tinoda kuti mutevere gwara, tinoda kuti mubatane. Kubatana ndokwatakapikirwa. Kana vaNkomo varwarisa vakati zvishuviro zvandinazvo zviviri ndisati ndayenda: Kubatana kwevanhu tirege kuita mutsauko wekuti uyu anobva kupi uyu anoyera chiyi. Tibatane tive one.
“Chechipiri nyaya yevhu, tirege kupunyutsa ivhu. Land! We must not let go the land which is in our hands torege kufuririka tichiti tasvika pandima yekuti vachena vaye tvatakatorera ihama ngavachidzoka. Tingave nekushinha ipapo.
“Nekuti vanemari, imi hamuna mari ndivo vanouya nema-tractor vamwe vakatosiya ma-tractor muminda mavo. Iye zvino vamwe varikutorimira vamwe vedu. Tochenjera kuchenjeresa. Saka tinoda kubatisisa ipapo. The land must remain a natural resource that belongs to the people over which our people have a sovereign right.”
He said the Central Committee’s disciplinary committee would review appeals from fired and suspended members. The meeting takes place this Friday.
On social media, the president said Government would also look at how China controls these platforms and learn how to introduce similar measures to stem abuses.
- Nehanda Radio