HARARE – Disgruntled Christopher Mutsvangwa-led war veterans are planning to hold a national indaba ahead of the 2018 presidential elections.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya told the Daily News that following a national executive meeting held in Harare last week, they resolved to convene the grand indaba together with all former freedom fighters to review the country’s political, economic and social progress since independence from Britain 36 years ago.
“We were assigned by our national executive to get all war veterans together so that we review the socio-political and economic progress or lack of it since independence,” he said.
“…plans are underway to find out how we are going to go about that because as you may know, war veterans are not financially-sound but at a certain point, sooner rather than later, we are going to have that meeting,” Mahiya said.
Since the emergence of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai in 1999, war veterans have been a key pillar of support to Mugabe’s continued grip on power as they unleashed a reign of terror, particularly in rural areas.
But with Mugabe unwilling to listen to calls for him to step-down, former freedom fighters have broken rank out of frustration.
Mutsvangwa and his executive, who have been open that they want Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed the soon-to-be 93 years old leader, are mobilising all ex-combatants who have either been hounded out of Zanu PF or are still in but are disgruntled by the factional fights consuming the ruling party.
“We want to bring all comrades together and here I am talking about all senior commanders of the war veterans (opposition Zapu leader) Dumiso Dabengwa, (opposition ZPF elders Rugare) Gumbo and (Didymus) Mutasa, Cde Hondo and many others we have visited them and talked to them,” Mahiya said.
“What is left is to come up with a date when the meeting to review the developments will be held,” he said, adding that they were also going to invite Zimbabwe People First interim leader Joice Mujuru to be part of the meeting.
The former freedom fighters were last year hounded out of the ruling Zanu PF after they criticised Mugabe for overstaying in power.