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Zimbabwe War Veterans Revoke Mugabe's Zanu-PF Leadership Mandate, Say He Can't Run in 2018

Apr 14 '16 | By La Afrique Media | Views: 255 | Comments: 0

A GROUP of war veterans said Tuesday that they had withdrawn, with immediate effect, President Robert Mugabe's mandate to lead Zanu PF, saying the 92-year-old was never "elected but ... only selected to lead in the struggle."

Addressing a press conference in Harare, the group's leader Bernard Manyadza (war name Paka Chipowera) and a member of the High Command during the liberation war, said the decision means that Mugabe cannot be the ruling party's candidate in the 2018 elections.

"Mugabe has failed this country and he is no longer able to hold national duties. It is us war veterans who put him in power in 1975 through the Mgagao Document which removed Ndabaningi Sithole," Manyadza told reporters.

"War veterans participated democratically in the struggle and Mugabe was not elected but, was only selected to lead in the struggle.

"We, the war veterans who agreed to the authorship of the Mgagao Document and appended our signatures to it, now withdraw the mandate we gave to Robert Mugabe to be the leader of the struggle."

Manyadza and his group condemned the April 7 meeting between Mugabe and war veterans, saying the veteran leader blocked genuine former fighters from attending.

He said the meeting, claimed to have bought together by 10,000 war vets, was attended by "pseudo-war veterans" and "green bombers".

"Genuine" former fighters like Margaret Dongo were barred from the meeting "deemed to be openly opposed to Robert Mugabe's continued mis-rule".

"Mugabe legitimized attendance by some pseudo-war veterans and 'green bombers 'and these illegitimate attendees are Zanu PF sycophants and bootlickers who can be best described as charlatans and opportunists," said Manyadza.

Mugabe called the meeting supposedly to address the former fighters' welfare concerns but accused them, prior to the gathering, of trying to topple him from power.

Ahead of the meeting, anti-riot police used tear gas and water cannon as they tried to gather for a meeting in Harare. Mugabe later apologised for the police reaction but fired war veterans' leader Chris Mutsvangwa from his cabinet.

Manyadza said Mugabe was not interested in addressing the former fighters' welfare concerns, adding that if he was, the meeting April 7 meeting would not have been held with "green bombers".

He said Mugabe should have met the leaders of the war veterans' association or surviving members of the High Command, members of the General Staff and/or operational detachment commanders of both Zimbabwe National Liberation Army (ZANLA) and Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA).

Meanwhile, Manyadza paid tribute to the late Zanu PF chairman Herbert Chitepo, who insisted that, "there never was and never will be a living hero".

Apparently mocking Mugabe who is described in god-like terms by some in the ruling party, Manyadza said Chitepo refused to allow slogans like, "Pamberi naChitepo or nani zvake because he "remained firm on the principle that all humans were fallible".

Manyadza added: "Chitepo argued that, 'If you say Pamberi neni ko mangwana ndikatadza wozoti kudiyi?".

The war veterans also criticized Mugabe over the way former Vice President Joice Mujuru was removed from her position and in the ruling party and the government, the administration of the economy and the Zanu PF leader's "worthless trips around the world".

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