Monday, 19 December 2016

"Tumwe twacho" Mugabe called war veterans as if they are black-death fleas. By Nomusa Garikai

If there had ever been any doubt as to the contempt in which President Mugabe held his comrade in arms, the war veterans, he could not have put his contempt more graphically than he did during last week’s Zanu PF party conference in Masvingo.

“There are ways to be followed that you cannot dictate how things should be done. There are organs which follow rules and procedures of how things should be done and no one person should stand up there and say ah, I want this to be done this way.” He started off, talking about his turf war with the war veterans.  

The war veterans’ quarrel with him is over President Mugabe’s failure to deliver economic prosperity. It was them who have done all the dirty work of harassing, beating, raping and even murdering innocent Zimbabwe to impose the Zanu PF dictatorship that has kept President Mugabe and Zanu PF in power all these last 36 years.

Whilst the President and his cronies have enjoyed absolute political power and all the influence and material wealth it brings, the war veterans have seen their economic well-being sink and their abuse of povo have lost them the rest they had enjoyed as the country’s liberation war heroes and heroines.

You do not terrorize the people for selfish political gain – a share of the spoils of absolute power – and expect the people to consider you their hero still! And when the economic prosperity has not materialized after decades of waiting patiently, many of them have lived in abject poverty for decades, it is not surprising that the war veterans feel they have been used and then discarded like toilet paper! Except for the war veterans in the security services, civil service or have some such patronage job, the rest of the war veterans are languishing in poverty.

The contrast between those living in poverty and the filthy rich ruling elite has become a yawning chasm that cannot be denied or bridged. Of course, the impoverished war veterans have cause to complain.

The economic situation of the war veterans has sunk to what it is today because President Mugabe has always treated their complains with the same indifference that he has treated the suffering and even deaths of the rest of ordinary Zimbabweans. If anyone had doubted that the indifference was born out of contempt President removed all the doubt in Masvingo!

“Va(Phelekezela) Mphoko hatichavada,” continue President Mugabe in his criticism of the war veterans. “Hazviitwe izvozvo! Vamwe, tumwe twacho hanzi VaMugabe hatichavada. Ko  zvino zvausisavade unoti zviitwe sei iwe pachezvako vamwe vazhinji muparty vachiti tinovada? Hanzi ngavanzwe zvandiri kutaura; ngavanzwe zvatiri kutaura.” (We do not want VP (Phelekezela) Mphoko. Some, say they do not want President Mugabe. So, what do you expect to be done since the majority in the party want them? They want everyone to listen to them.)

For the record, it was a handful of the war veterans, some of them in the group now demanding that he must step down, who decided that Mugabe should takeover the leadership of the party from the late Ndabaningi Sithole over forty years ago. Ever since Robert Mugabe has seen to it that all the elective congresses since then endorse him as the leader, with no elections. Even PF Zapu signed the unity accord to join Zanu PF the Robert Mugabe was name as the first secretary of the united party and so there was no election. Now it is clear why President Mugabe has never allowed even his fellow comrades in arms a meaningful vote in who led the party.

President Mugabe’s contempt of the war veterans was lost in translation “Vamwe” (Some) is a Shona word one would use talking about human beings. “Tumwe” (some) is a word one would use talking about deadly disease carrying fleas, bugs one would kill on sight!

If President Mugabe has always treated his fellow war veterans as nothing short of bugs it is clear why he is angry that they should now expect him to give them a share of the power and looted wealth. As for denying them a meaningful vote, who would give a flea or mosquito a vote?

If President Mugabe treats war veterans with disgust and contempt one can only imagine his contempt for the ordinary Zimbabwean: no wonder he has never allowed the ordinary people a free and meaningful vote and in his 36 years in power he murdered over 30 000 innocent Zimbabweans for his selfish political gain and has never shown a remorse – he might as well have killed an infestation of black-death carrying fleas!


  1. I do not think there many countries out there where the cabinet does not meet unless the President is there to chair the meeting; yet this is exactly what has been happening in Zimbabwe. For the last 36 years President Mugabe, has chaired ALL the cabinet meeting, all of them without exception. That speaks volumes of what he thinks of his VPs, Ministers and Deputy Minister - they are cockroaches whom he can never trust to conduct even one meeting. As for allowing anyone of these cockroaches take over and rule the country, the idea is simply preposterous!

    When President Mugabe appointed VP Mnangagwa in December 2014, everyone thought the tyrant had finally settled on his heir-apparent. Within days of the appointment there was an attempt to poison Mnangagwa, his secretary had to be hospitalized for treatment. There were no investigations and no one was arrested – only one person would have instructed that the case must be dropped!

    When the assassination attempt failed President Mugabe let it be known that the race to succeed him was open for others to enter. Professor Jonathan Moyo spelt this out in BBC interview for the country and the whole world to know that Mnangagwa was NOT heir-apparent! President Mugabe could not stomach the notion of having a cockroach as his heir-apparent!

    President Mugabe will hang-on to power regardless is past record of corruption and murder. He has been in power for 36 years and now he is old and sick, he can hardly walk and when he does manage to talk only foul and contemptuous words come out of his mouth and yet he still wants to hang-on to power because all those around him are cockroaches.

    President Mugabe is the brains and the driving force behind G40 and he is determined that his wife Grace takeover from him should it become impossible for him to hang-on to power! He has kept the likes of Mnangagwa faithful to him by letting him think he would succeed him when all along he had nothing but contempt for the man. To President Mugabe, Mnangagwa and all the other Zanu PF leaders are cockroaches.

    As for povo, Mugabe was only interested in the wealth we generated for him and his cronies; he has never ever wanted povo to enjoy freedom, justice and live in human dignity if that meant him having to give up his dream of absolute power!

  2. God helps those who help themselves, we have not been doing our homework. All we need to do is demand the implementation of all the democratic reforms so there are free and fair elections.

    The war veterans are the ones who were harassing and beating up people to force them to vote for Zanu PF justice has been done in that they never got the economic prosperity Mugabe promised them but a kick in the teeth instead! To Mugabe war veterans are nothing but cockroaches and he is treating them accordingly!

  3. Yes, the demand to “field a candidate with a real chance of winning against Mugabe” makes a lot of sense. But, as is often the case with such matters, the devil is in the detail.

    In the March 2008 vote Tsvangirai got 73% of the vote, by Mugabe’s own admission, and assuming he can garner similar support again then he is definitely the candidate the opposition must field. And yet we all know Tsvangirai was not declared the winner of that election because Zanu PF was responsible for recounting the votes and after six weeks recounting 5 million votes Tsvangirai’s 73% was reduced to 47%!

    In other words in a country where vote rigging is so bad than an opposition candidate’s 73% landslide victory can be whittled down to 47% it is clear that the opposition will be foolish to contest such askew elections.

    The basic requirement to beating Mugabe in the 2013 elections was known back in 2008 when Zanu PF, the two MDC factions and SADC as the guarantor signed GPA – implement a raft of reforms to ensure the elections are free, fair and credible. Not even one reform was implemented and, as expected, Zanu PF went on to blatantly rig the July 2013 elections.

    The basic requirement to beat President Mugabe in the 2018 elections has not change, we still need to implement the reforms to ensure Zanu PF does not blatantly rig the vote. Not even one reform has been implemented since the rigged July 2013 elections. So if Zanu PF is still able to recount 73% to make it 47% seeking an opposition candidate who will win 73% of the vote will not be enough to beat Mugabe!

    What difference will it make if the opposition split the 73% vote; so if one of them gets 60% and the rest share 13% to Zanu PF’s 37%. The opposition will still win if Zanu PF was not allowed to recount!

    The problem is not one of selecting the best opposition candidates to contest the elections but rather of stopping Zanu PF rigging the vote. You have failed to come up with solutions on how to stop the vote rigging and so are expending all your energy and time address a peripheral that will have no bearing on the result – a landslide Zanu PF victory.

    Kennedy Kaitano you and many others are barking up the wrong tree; the only sure way to defeat Zanu PF is implementing the reforms so there are free, fair and credible elections. You are just wasting time wittering about selecting the best opposition candidate for each seat! “Penga udzoke!” as one would say in Shona!

  4. @ Zunzanyika

    President Mugabe has bamboozled both Tsvangirai and Mujuru with ease in the past and he will, with no reforms, do it again.

    The essential question you must answer is will the elections be free, fair and credible? If you cannot answer yes, then do not contest the elections until the reforms are implemented!

  5. The war veterans are still failing to understand two things:

    1) The war veterans made a big mistake of propping up the Zanu PF dictatorship and riding roughshod over the people’s freedoms and human rights. They must apologise for their betrayal. When it comes to freedoms and basic rights all Zimbabweans have a birth right to these things and it is a nonsense that some people are more equal than others to the extend they have a veto when others have a vote, for example.

    2) That the de facto one party dictatorship, as a political system, has failed and it is not enough to remove Mugabe only to replace him with another imposed tyrant, Mnangagwa. What the nation needs to move forward is to scrap the de facto one-party state, implement all the democratic reforms and hold the nation's first free, fair and credible elections.

    Zimbabwe is in this political and economic hell-hole because President Mugabe and his cronies abandoned the liberation war values of granting all citizens their freedoms and human rights to gratify their own insatiable greed for power and wealth. It is a great pity that many war veterans prostituted their principles and supported the corrupt and tyrannical tyrant in the hope they would be given a share of the spoils of power and wealth. It is unforgivable for Mugabe, his cronies or the war veterans to drag the nation any deeper into this hell because they are refusing to accept the dictatorship was doomed to fail and it has failed.

    It is now time to accept change!

  6. @ Tinashe

    Morgan Tsvangirai won 73% of the votes in March 2008, according to President Mugabe's own admission, but this was whittled down to 47% after six weeks of recounting 5 million ballot by the Zanu PF controlled ZEC.

    In the 2013 elections nearly one million voters were denied the vote because their details were deliberately posted to other constituencies other than the one they expected. The individuals would have put this right if the voters roll were released a month before voting day as is required by law. The voters roll was never released even to this day.

    Even if the opposition was united and they fielded one candidate for each seat, Zanu PF will still have a landslide victory as long as the party is able to rig elections. The challenge is how to stop Zanu PF rigging elections, that is the real problem here. Stop wasting the nation's time and energy addressing side issue that will do nothing to deliver change!

  7. There is nothing wrong with being confident but there is everything wrong with being over confident so much so that one thinks himself infallible – the realms of the Gods! War creates heroes and, where self-discipline is lacking, the heroes can just as easily become big headed and consider themselves infallible; a danger Mahatma Gandhi understood only too well.

    When the question arose of whether India should wage an armed struggle to drive the British out of India. Gandhi asked his fellow nationalists “What kind of leaders would the armed struggle throw up? Will they be the men and women we want to rule the country?”

    The answer to Gandhi’s rhetorical question was simple and obvious enough to any honest and thinking being. Zimbabwe’s liberation war was thrown up hundreds of thousands of the most incompetent, corrupt and arrogant individuals one could ever imagine. The ordinary war veterans think themselves God’s greatest gift to the nation and hence their single mindedness in imposing the Zanu PF dictatorship on the people. They fought the war of liberation and defeated the white colonialists and therefore they know best what is good for the country.

    “We are the stockholders of Zanu PF and Zimbabwe,” said the war veteran leaders. “Everyone else is a stakeholder, who comes and goes.” They meant every word of it!

    The irony is the Zanu PF leaders themselves viewed themselves to be a cut above the rest of their fellow war veterans. I agree, President Mugabe considers himself infallible and his war comrades as nothing more than insects whom he would never consult or grant a vote!

    Considering the mess the country is in after 36 years of misrule by Zanu PF; one would have thought the war veterans and Mugabe himself would have had the humility to accept they are not infallible. The very fact that they still consider themselves special goes not show just how shallow they are. The military success has turned these soft heads into monsters, monsters the nation must now tame of we will never ever get out of the hell-hole Mugabe has landed us!

  8. As a nation we sure have more than our fair share of sell-outs. We can start from the top with Mugabe. Professor Moyo and all the other Zanu PF leaders, come to war veterans leaders like Jabulani Sibanda and Mahiya and down to upstarts like Nick Mangwana and Chipanga. Outside Zanu PF we have Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends who were bribed to do nothing about the reforms right down to their acolytes who are brainwashing the people about opposition successes when there is none!