By Tendayi Madhomu
In a surprising turn of events, some war veterans want to remove their national chairperson — Christopher Mutsvangwa — from office for allegedly undermining President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The no confidence vote, and the subsequent demand to have Mutsvangwa expelled from Zanu PF altogether, come as fissures are widening in the former liberation movement — which has historically been consistently troubled by ugly factionalism.
Yesterday, Mutsvangwa himself — who is recuperating from a major surgery which has kept him away from the public domain — dismissed the purported vote of no confidence in him, before referring further questions to other war veterans leaders.
“I won’t comment on that issue. I think the patron, who is the president, as well as other structures in the leadership, are in a better position to comment.
“I won’t comment on everything or anything that someone has just decided to post on social media,” he said.
Mutsvangwa was a fierce backer of Mnangagwa at the height of Zanu PF’s tribal, factional and succession wars — which subsided in November last year when the military ousted former president Robert Mugabe from power.
But yesterday, Mashonaland West war veterans accused him of being “self-centred and disrespectful of Mnangagwa” — the same charge which was recently directed at former Cabinet ministers now stationed at the Zanu headquarters.
The Mashonaland West war veterans’ leadership also accused Mutsvangwa of “creating divisions within the organisation and making utterances that had brought the organisation and Zanu PF into disrepute, which was unexpected of a member of the politburo”.
“Because of the reasons given above, the decision to withdraw him is unanimous. He will be issued with his letter in due course,” the provincial leadership said.
However, war veterans secretary-general Victor Matemadanda said he was unaware of the latest developments.
But earlier in the week, Matemadanda confirmed the growing cracks in Zanu PF, telling the Daily News that war veterans were aware of a plot by party bigwigs to limit Mnangagwa to one term in office only.
“The country is not led by opinions of certain individuals but by the Constitution. We have a Constitution which says the president must serve two terms and … there is no need to talk about succession now because the president is still serving his first term.
“It is not about the opinion of certain drunken individuals, but the Constitution,” he said without naming these supposed drunkards.
War veterans have for many years been the bedrock of Zanu PF’s power, playing crucial roles in keeping Mugabe in power by brutalising members of the opposition. Daily News