Zimbabwe war vets salute ‘courageous’ Tshinga Dube

EX-COMBATANTS leader Christopher Mutsvangwa yesterday said he felt vindicated when War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube openly told President Robert Mugabe that he should either groom or name a successor to restore political and economic stability in the country.

With Zanu PF split between two distinct camps angling to control the former liberation movement ahead of elections next year, Dube, at the weekend, became the first member of Mugabe’s Cabinet to publicly urge the veteran Zanu PF leader to urgently find or groom a successor.

“We salute the daring courage of minister Dube and urge all progressive Zimbabweans to embrace the succession debate in an open and robust manner for the sake of the future of the proud nation,” Mutsvangwa said.

“The debate will rekindle the hopes of the populace, which has suffered more than a decade of G40 economic neglect and mismanagement.

“It brings in prospects for a new and improved page in the running of national affairs. We heartily welcome the bringing back of sanity in national political discourse. Succession of the political order of the day is cardinal to the success of the Chimurenga revolutionary project. It is a matter that is embedded in the DNA of all war veterans and indeed all human endeavour.”

Mutsvangwa and most executives of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association were booted out of Zanu PF last year after they challenged Mugabe to come out clear on the succession issue.

But, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday said the ruling party’s constitution does not allow for the grooming or picking of a successor.

“There is no vacancy in the presidency and the incumbent is our candidate for next year’s elections. Our president is elected at congress and people are free to choose who they want according to the dictates of our party constitution,” he said.

“The President cannot be seen to go against the constitution of the party.”

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, reportedly with the support from sections of the military and war veterans, First Lady Grace Mugabe, initially with backing from a faction known as G40, and now Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi are seen as the front-runners to take over from Mugabe.

War veterans’ secretary-general Victor Matemadanda said Mugabe’s reluctance to groom or pick a successor was the cause of chaos and indiscipline in Zanu PF.

“It’s a free-for-all now. It appears to us that he (Mugabe) is happy with the chaos. There is no person, who can rule forever. At some point, someone will have to take over,” he said.

“People have just not openly challenged Mugabe because of respect, but everybody wants power. It cannot be true that 37 years after independence nobody has emerged who can do better than the current leader.”

Matemadanda said Mugabe had reaped from a clear leadership structure during the liberation war, but was denying this to others.

“Mugabe benefited from a clear structure that respected seniority. We stuck with him even when there was resistance from a lot of people including the Frontline States because he had remained as the most senior following the death of Herbert Chitepo (Zanu chairman), Leopold Takawira (vice-president) and the rejection of president Ndabaningi Sithole,” Matemadanda said.

“That structure is what we want followed now.”

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Source: NewsDay

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