War veterans want Mugabe to rule for life

Dumisani Muleya

WAR veterans say they will urge President Robert Mugabe to “rule for life” at Zanu PF’s congress next month.



sans-serif”>Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association deputy chairman, Joseph Chinotimba, who led farm invasions, said the former freedom fighters-turned party militias want Mugabe to remain in power forever.


“We want him to be there until he dies. We will support him at congress to remain there forever,” Chinotimba said in an interview last week.


“There is no one who will remove him. We will mobilise the people to support him. He will be there whether the Americans or the British like it or not.”


Chinotimba spearheaded the seizure of white-owned farms by government, which began in 2000 and dubbed himself the “commander-in-chief of farm invasions”.


Traditional chiefs, the Zanu PF Women’s League and some local council authorities, among other groups, have said they will support Mugabe at congress.


Zanu PF will hold the crucial congress from December 1 to 5 where new leaders are expected to be elected. Mugabe is expected to be retained unchallenged.


Vice president Joseph Msika is also expected to bounce back with little or no challenge despite an undercurrent of opposition to his return.


The real battle is expected to be concentrated on the other post of vice president which has been a subject of controversy of late.


Zanu PF administration secretary and Speaker of parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa was initially seen as the leading candidate, while senior party officials and cabinet ministers Joyce Mujuru and Didymus Mutasa are also vying for the post. But an emergency politburo meeting yesterday reportedly decided that a woman — most likely Mujuru — would be the most appropriate choice.


Nominations for Zanu PF’s four elected positions — first secretary, two second secretaries and national chairman — as well as members of the central committee and the national consultative assembly, will be conducted this weekend by the party’s 10 provinces.


Controversy erupted this week after Mnangagwa sent out a memo on the issue of nominations. Senior party officials objected to Mnangagwa handling the nominations, saying he was an interested party.


The escalating row over Mnangagwa’s possible ascendancy threatened to widen cracks in Zanu PF before the politburo moved in on Mujuru’s side.

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