The alleged plot to oust President Robert Mugabe took a new twist yesterday with War Veterans’ minister Christopher Mutsvangwa warning Zanu PF’s “Young Turks” against conspiring to seize power from the ageing leader.
BY MOSES MATENGA / blessed mhlanga
Mutsvangwa, who is also war veterans’ national chairperson, said as former freedom fighters, whom he described as the vanguard of Zanu PF, they would not allow such security threats to go unchallenged.
“We are guardians of the revolution. We will be vigilant and alert, and we hope the Young Turks learn the importance of discipline,” he said on Wednesday.
“The (Zanu PF and Cabinet) posts they have came as a result of our sacrifices. We gave people power and democracy. We are very generous with power, but we are vigilant. We hope they try to embrace discipline before they go to the national stage.”
Mutsvangwa urged the unnamed Young Turks to learn discipline and dedication from war veterans, saying the 1970s war of liberation fighters were not power-hungry because “if we loved power, we wouldn’t have been generous with it”.
His comments came after war veterans’ secretary-general Victor Matemadanda on Tuesday sensationally claimed that some young party officials in the politburo and Cabinet were conniving with Western countries in an alleged plot to remove Mugabe (91) from power.
Yesterday, Mutsvangwa fired another salvo directed at national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere in Kwekwe saying the war veterans were now lobbying to have the political commissar and secretary for security posts reserved for people with liberation war credentials.
“We are pushing to ensure that the position of PC and security in all party levels is held by war veterans, not what is happening that people who have that job do not even know their job description and end up messing the smooth flow of party activities. During our time a PC was trained first before taking up that position,” he said.
This followed Kasukuwere’s remarks dismissing some of the war veterans as “drunkards”.
In his address to the media on Tuesday, Matemadanda accused the party’s Young Turks of sponsoring confusion in Zanu PF and devising various strategies of undermining Mugabe.
Kasukuwere was also accused of imposing Terence Mukupe as the Harare East constituency candidate for next month’s by-election.
As the ruling party turf war continues to escalate, a group of expelled former Zanu PF members, now calling itself Zanu PF (People First), yesterday said they had been vindicated by the latest developments in the ruling party.
“What is happening in Zanu PF vindicates us,” the group’s spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said. “We never did anything to destroy Zanu PF. If anything, we wanted the party to be strong. In fact, people like (Information minister) Jonathan Moyo are basking in glory because they have achieved what they wanted, that is to see Zanu PF dead.”
Gumbo said Zanu PF was now an animal which nobody understood, as the party had been hijacked by newcomers and war veterans were decimated.
Zanu People First believes that several people occupying powerful positions in the former liberation movement had no history of the struggle and were pushing “selfish agendas”.