In the boldest challenge ever to Mugabe’s tyrannical, the war vets and the security chefs, notably Commander Chiwenga, told Mugabe in no uncertain terms they constitute “the stockholders of Zanu PF and Zimbabwe and the leaders are stakeholders who can come and go!”
On Wednesday Mugabe, emboldened by the one-million man march organized by the party’s Youth League, hit right back repeating his earlier statement that war vets were an affiliate organization that cannot dictate to the party Zanu PF. The following day he reduced the retirement age of all those serving in the security services from 60 years to 50. This clearly opened the door for Mugabe to retire many of the former freedom fighters who have become increasingly critical of his rule.
When it suited his political needs of imposing on the nation his no regime change mantra after he lost the March 2008 vote, Mugabe kept the current security services chefs beyond the official retirement age of 60 years. Now that the same chefs have been increasingly critical of his tyrannical rule he drops the retire age even to get rid of most of his liberation war colleagues from the security sector.
How ironic that anyone over the age of 50 is considered too old to serve in the security sector commanded by a 92 year old Commander-In-Chief! Needless to say it was the 92 year old dictator who made that unilateral decision without even consulting his rubber stamping parliament! It is great to be a dictator.
Mugabe must be sweating because the last thing he expected was a defiant challenge to his diktat.
"We are equally worried that these quarters within the party refuse to accept that war veterans have an interest in Zanu-PF approximated to ownership," came the nuclear bomb response from Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya.
"We should have been told during the war that we did not belong to the party and needed not join. Had that been made clear to us, then we would have dealt with those issues in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time."
"We need to make it clear that war veterans cannot be retired or removed from Zanu-PF as well as the security establishment. Any attempts to retire us on the basis of age is to us a cover to perpetuate the regime change agenda of security sector reform. Regime change to us means to rid Zanu-PF and the security establishment of the liberation component, which will not be tolerated under any circumstances."
Mugabe has deliberately undermined the independence of the state institutions like the judiciary, ZEC and security services by appointing individuals run these institution he could trust to neglect the institution’s democratic duties and promoted Zanu PF his selfish objective of creating a de facto one-party cum one-man dictatorship. He sugar coated the tyrannical pill by claiming that there were outside forces working with the “puppet local opposition” seeking regime change.
Frankly, not even the simpletons amongst the war vets like Jabulani Sibanda of Joseph Chinotimba ever believed the lie of the West being behind the increasing demand for meaningful democratic change and free and fair elections; it was ordinary Zimbabweans and not the British or Americans, who were risking life and limp demanding change. The war vets, security chefs and all the other Zanu PF operatives subscribed to no regime change agenda at all cost mentality on the understanding they will have a share in the absolute political power and the wealth and looted riches it brought.
The root cause of Mugabe and the war vets’ quarrel is the country’s poor economic performance which has left more and more war vets economically destitute. Although Mugabe has once in a while made a token payment to alleviate the war vets’ economic hardship as the national economic sunk deeper and deeper into trouble it dragged more and more into poverty and many war vets were caught up in the drag net.
Douglas Mahiya, Chiwenga and all the others in the war vets and security sector know that if Mugabe was to sever their links with Zanu PF he would have condemned them to the same grinding poverty the majority of Zimbabweans are facing right now!
"We plead with the party's leadership to explain to us the principle of one centre of power. We hope it does not mean that power is vested in one person because if that is so, then it is against the Zanu-PF constitution and traditions of the party," another war vet said.
"The principle of having one centre of power needs to be explained. Power resides in the people as represented in the central committee in between congresses. Anything beyond that is unheard of to us and is dictatorship."
It is refreshing that some of these war vets have finally woken up to the reality that Mugabe is a dictator! The next thing they need to know now is that he is a corrupt, incompetent and murderous tyrant and the economic meltdown the country is facing is the consequence of 36 years of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption. The misrule has continued for all these years because the nation was denied the opportunity to elect a competent and accountable government because the people were denied a meaningful free and fair vote.
By foolishly supporting Mugabe’s no regime change mantra the war vet, ZEC, judiciary, security services, etc. had all played their part in imposing a corrupt and incompetent regime on the nation. The only way to end Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown is to have meaningful democratic reforms followed by free, fair and credible elections.