PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Wednesday mocked restive veterans of the 1970s liberation war with whom he fell out over the politics of succession gripping ZANU-PF saying they should tow the party line if they still want to be part of it.
Addressing mourners gathered at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare yesterday to bury national hero, James Murozvi, President Mugabe said: “War veterans should emulate the late Murozvi who neither disrespected authority nor sowed seeds of dissent.”
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) leader Chris Mutsvangwa, who sat in the VIP tent next to his former Cabinet colleagues, appeared unmoved.
“Haana kuita mheremhere kuti aaargh hurumende irikunganisa. Zvasiyana nemafungiro evamwe vanofunga kuti zvandiri war veteran ndane mvumo yekutonga; aiziva gwara kuti tine musangano une mutungamiriri, kwete watino sungirwa kutungamirira, (He did not cause any confusion in the party or accused government of any wrong doing which is different from some war veterans who think that being a former freedom fighter means they now have the right to rule. Murozvi knew that the party has a leader and he respected him),” President Mugabe added.
“Even during the war, it was always the case of politics leading the gun and not the other way (round). So the ZANU-PF way is always that politics leads the gun,” he said.
The war veterans are particularly aggrieved by ZANU-PF national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, whom they accuse of undermining them after he branded them a bunch of drunkards and taxi drivers in 2015. They also regard him as not qualified to hold the political commissar post, which the war veterans believe should be in the hands of someone with liberation war credentials.
President Mugabe told mourners that unlike the boisterous Mutsvangwa-led former freedom fighters; Murozvi was a calm figure who respected political leadership despite being a military man and urged them to emulate him.
The Mutsvangwa-led ZNLWVA recently held a meeting where they declared that the ruling party was their baby and it should therefore obey them.-Fingaz