War vet­er­ans, Zanu-PF re-en­gage­ment wel­come

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

THERE has been much con­flict be­tween war vet­er­ans gen­er­ally and some el­e­ments in Zanu-PF. In de­vel­op­ments that are patently un­char­ac­ter­is­tic of the rul­ing party, the clique has at­tempted to set the lib­er­a­tors against their pa­tron, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe and the First Lady, Cde Grace. War vet­er­ans also ac­cuse the group of us­ing party youths and women to go af­ter them (war vet­er­ans). At one point some youths ac­tu­ally chal­lenged the lib­er­a­tors, most dis­re­spect­fully, to a phys­i­cal show­down.

There is ev­i­dence that the el­e­ments were suc­ceed­ing they in­flu­enced the party to ex­pel the lead­er­ship of the Zim­babwe Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion War Vet­er­ans’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ZNLWVA) from Zanu-PF while those that re­mained are be­ing side­lined.

It is sad in­deed to have found­ing mem­bers of a rev­o­lu­tion, who made the ultimate sac­ri­fice for the independence of the coun­try and its postin­de­pen­dence de­vel­op­ment, be­ing sys­tem­at­i­cally hounded out of their party by peo­ple who joined them later on. There is al­ways some­thing wrong when such a thing hap­pens.

We have hap­pily wit­nessed ef­forts over the past few days to cor­rect this anom­aly. At the week­end Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe dis­patched the Polit­buro Sec­re­tary for War Vet­er­ans who is also Min­is­ter of De­fence, Dr Syd­ney Sek­era­mayi, Min­is­ter Re­spon­si­ble for the Wel­fare of War Vet­er­ans, Re­tired Colonel Tshinga Dube and his per­ma­nent sec­re­tary Rtd Bri­gadier Gen­eral Wal­ter Tap­fu­maneyi to hold meet­ings with war vet­er­ans in Chin­hoyi, Mutare and other places with the agenda to find com­mon ground. This cul­mi­nated in a meet­ing on Tues­day be­tween Rtd Col Dube and the ZNLWVA del­e­ga­tion of chair­man, Cde Christo­pher Mutsvangwa, his deputy Cde Head­man Moyo and spokesman, Cde Dou­glas Mahiya in Harare.

At the Tues­day meet­ing, the vet­er­ans con­firmed their sup­port for Zanu-PF but voiced anger at the way the party is be­ing run. They warned that if the man­ner in which the party is run con­tin­ues, the revolutionary party’s en­emy would suc­ceed in de­stroy­ing it from within. In ad­di­tion, they con­demned high level cor­rup­tion in­volv­ing some in the Gov­ern­ment, high­light­ing that there ap­peared to be a re­la­tion­ship be­tween the cor­rupt el­e­ments and those who are or­ches­trat­ing their re­moval from the party.

Another im­por­tant out­come of the meet­ing was the re­jec­tion by war vet­er­ans of two doc­u­ments

the Blue Ocean doc­u­ment and the July 21 com­mu­niqué in which the rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies pur­port­edly cut ties with their pa­tron and Zanu-PF.

A joint state­ment is­sued af­ter the meet­ing shows that the two sides had a frank dis­cus­sion.

“The war vet­er­ans reaf­firmed their sta­tus as rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies, as­sert­ing their un­wa­ver­ing loy­alty to Zim­babwe, the revolutionary party Zanu-PF and its orig­i­nal and au­then­tic lead­er­ship,” Rtd Col Dube said.

“They as­serted that the cur­rent man­ner in which the party is be­ing run is driv­ing them away be­cause they see the party as hav­ing been hi­jacked away from the ethos and ideals of the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle. In this re­gard, they ex­pressed clearly that if these is­sues are not ad­dressed ur­gently, the en­emy’s pro­nounced in­ten­tions of ef­fect­ing regime change from within will man­i­fest.

“They saw the cur­rent rift be­tween the party and the war vet­er­ans as be­ing or­ches­trated from within the party by el­e­ments who are de­ter­mined to de­stroy the party from within at the be­hest of the ar­chi­tects of regime change.”

War vet­er­ans are not superhuman, we must state. They are not in­fal­li­ble, thus are bound to make mis­takes here and there like all of us. How­ever, it is dif­fi­cult for us to imag­ine a sit­u­a­tion where they lose their grasp of the rev­o­lu­tion they founded and its prin­ci­ples to jus­tify the lynch­ings their lead­ers have en­dured from per­sons within Zanu-PF in re­cent months.

They founded the party, they fought the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle and have been at the fore­front of im­ple­men­ta­tion of fun­da­men­tal Gov­ern­ment pro­grammes over the past 36 years. War vet­er­ans have led in keeping the revolutionary con­scious­ness among the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion alive, they led in the pros­e­cu­tion of the land re­dis­tri­bu­tion pro­gramme and are the party’s most trusted and able com­mis­sars.

That is why we are glad at the Pres­i­dent’s will­ing­ness to iron out the dif­fer­ences be­tween them and the party. The ac­ri­mony is un­help­ful for the party, the Gov­ern­ment and the coun­try at large. It em­bold­ens the op­po­si­tion ahead of cru­cial elec­tions in 2018 be­cause a Zanu-PF with­out war vet­er­ans is not strictly Zanu-PF. It dis­rupts im­ple­men­ta­tion of Gov­ern­ment pro­grammes and cre­ates na­tional un­easi­ness.

We men­tioned early on and de­cried the war vet­er­ans-youths con­flict. The lat­ter are very im­por­tant in Zanu-PF. They are the fu­ture but they must not see them­selves com­pet­ing against the old guard so ac­ri­mo­niously. In­stead, they have so much to learn from war vet­er­ans in terms of revolutionary con­scious­ness and po­lit­i­cal strat­egy. That would en­able the young cadres of today to seam­less take over from the old hands and carry the revolutionary for­ward.

It is our sin­cere hope that the se­nior party lead­er­ship will adopt the out­come of the Tues­day meet­ing and im­ple­ment its rec­om­men­da­tions for greater party unity and progress.

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