PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s government has failed to push Zimbabwe’s economic agenda forward and now hide behind sanctions and, for that, it must resign and hand over power to war veterans, Chris Mutsvangwa has said.
The former minister and current chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association said this Thursday addressing hundreds of war veterans at the Harare City Sports Centre.
Mutsvangwa said it was now on record that whenever Mugabe gets the chance to speak about the country’s problems locally, regionally and internationally he always blames the “punitive” and “heinous” sanctions imposed by the Western countries as the biggest impediment to his economic policies.
He said for the last 16 years it has become rhetoric to hear that innocent Zimbabweans are suffering because Mugabe’s government is punished for repossessing their natural resources to empower black people.
“Yet the wealth and natural resources of the country are benefitting the few, who don’t even pay tax returns; evidence is there,” said Mutsvangwa.
He added, “Every time you blame the sanctions, well if it’s because of sanctions and you don’t know how to overcome them surrender leadership. Hand it (leadership) over to war veterans who are gathered here today because they have a reason why they went to war and you will see them taking the country forward.”
“You can’t have a commander who is at the fore front always blaming his guns saying we can’t fight because the guns are bad. When your enemy puts you in a difficult position then you are always shouting that my enemy has brought untold suffering, it’s clear that you have surrendered,” said the war veterans’ boss.
“You have to find a way of overcoming the enemy and this only comes from people who are creative like you (war vets).”
The war veterans, who recently broke ranks with Mugabe and the ruling party, have recently been openly critical of their patron and are now increasingly calling on him to step down and save the country from the free-fall.
President Mugabe is on record saying sanctions imposed against him have worsened the plight of innocent Zimbabweans.
Mutsvangwa was fired from government and Zanu PF for criticising the leadership last year. An attempt to remove him as leader of the war veterans failed.
On Thursday, he said the former fighters were ready to work with politicians considered enemies by Zanu PF.
“We will not be bothered about political affiliation,” Mutsvangwa said. “We only want people who are competent.”
“We can’t have a party run on non-democratic lines,” Mutsvangwa, told hundreds of the ex-guerrilla fighters at a meeting in Harare.
“We have been voting people for the past years because they came from the political party that we were in even when you know that the person is not the right candidate,” said Victor Matemadanda, secretary-general of the war vets association said.
“We were forced by party allegiance to vote for that person. We are saying that has come to an end,” he told hundreds of the former fighters at a meeting in Harare.
“If the people chose a candidate don’t ask which party they come from.”