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War vets 'lure' Mugabe

by Staff reporter
02 May 2017 at 12:45hrs | Views
War veterans have made the first move to try and mend their relations with President Robert Mugabe after they lavished with praise their former patron for his recent speech at the burial of former ex-combatant and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) assistant director, Zenzo Ntuliki.

The war veterans have been feuding with Mugabe since they issued a damning communiqué against the increasingly frail nonagenarian mid last year.

In a surprising development, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) chairperson and former Cabinet minister Chris Mutsvangwa said former freedom fighters were inspired by Mugabe's Saturday eulogy at the National Heroes Acre.

"As War Veterans, we wholeheartedly welcome...Mugabe's...speech delivered at the burial of... Ntuliki. We are particularly heartened by the recognition and the accolades showered upon our defence and security establishment which owes its existence to the pain and sacrifice of gallant young men and women of the 1960-70s.

"That generation of youthful patriots selflessly bore arms as Zanla and Zipra to dislodge the evil minority racist settler colonial regime and gave birth to the new State of Zimbabwe. In equal measure we salute both...Mugabe and the late Father Zimbabwe Joshua Nkomo for providing the militant leadership leading us to freedom and independence in 1980 and their subsequent sterling roles in nation building," said Mutsvangwa.

This is in stark contrast to what the former freedom fighters said recently after the burial of yet another hero, James Murozvi, also at the National Heroes' Acre, as they felt affronted by Mugabe's speech.

Then, Mugabe said unlike some war veterans, Murozvi was loyal to Zanu-PF until his death, as he attacked the Mutsvangwa-led executive. On Saturday, the nonagenarian delivered a riveting eulogy and chose the burial of Ntuliki, to remind Zimbabweans about the key role that spooks have played in the country's body politic. "Isu zvatiri pano hatingomhanyemhanye tichingodauka dauka zvisiri mugwara rinoonekwa nevaongorori vedu, nyanzvi dzedu dzine maziso, nzeve neruzivo rwekuti apa pakaipa, apa pane nyoka ... musafambe nepo pane nyoka mungarumwe (I always make my moves with advice from the CIO which warns me about my enemies).

"Saka tinopiwa nyanzvi dzine maziso anooona zviri kure kure nenzeve, dzinonzwa zvinonyeyewa. Ndiko kurarama kwedu (The intelligence operatives who work with me are top drawer spooks who can sniff out any threats well ahead.)

"The fact that he (Zenzo) is being laid here is a demonstration that he was a comrade, a comrade at arms.

"Self sacrifice was one of Ntuliki's strongest attributes … sacrifice did not mean just going out and joining the other comrade. It meant that at heart, in your own mind as a comrade you were truly decided, come what may to fight for the country," Mugabe  told mourners gathered at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

Mugabe has been having a tough time with war veterans ever since they issued a scathing statement on him in mid July last year.

Until that happened, the fed-up ex-combatants had served as Mugabe's and Zanu-PF's pillars, waging particularly brutal campaigns against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC, especially in the bloody elections of 2000 and 2008.

Their stunning fallout with Mugabe and Zanu-PF later saw Mutsvangwa, being fired from both the Cabinet and the ruling party last year, while many of their other top leaders were also banished from the imploding former liberation movement, in addition to being hauled before the courts.

Source - dailynews