Getting rid of Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association chairman Christopher Mutsvangwa is proving hard for President Robert Mugabe and a faction of the Zanu PF party that is propping up First Lady Grace Mugabe’s presidential ambitions.
Mugabe sacked the fearless Mutsvangwa from his cabinet position as War Veterans Minister in apparent fury that he organized an “unauthorized” meeting of the former liberation war fighters that among other things was meant to protest the polarizing influence of the First Lady in Zanu PF’s factional wars. But getting rid of Mutsvangwa as war veteran’s chairman looks a mountain to climb for the Generation 40 faction that is behind Grace Mugabe
Even the newly appointed War Veterans Minister Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube on Monday distanced himself from remarks attributed to him in the state media that he would soon convene a meeting for the exfreedom fighters to elect a replacement for Mutsvangwa. Dube, aware of Mutsvangwa’s popularity among the former fighters, said he suspected the remarks were part of a sinister plot to cause friction between him and Mutsvangwa. “What was said in the story is not true.
All I can say is I have received a baptism of fire. Mutsvangwa is still the chairman,” he said. “It is not me who chooses leaders for war veterans. They choose their own leader and they are the ones and His Excellency President Mugabe who are responsible for removing him. I never said there will be elections to replace him. I repeat: I have no power to make such a statement.” “I am not a controversial figure. I don’t know why this boy (Chronicle reporter) deliberately distorted facts. He called me, but decided to mix and twist facts. I had decided to keep quiet, but it is good that I have to correct this. I have no personal vendetta with Mutsvangwa. I am not the one who elected him,” Dube added.
A defiant Mutsvangwa last week challenged Mugabe to sack him, later telling journalists “I neither care for that politburo post, nor indeed for the ministerial appointment.” “So Norton constituency, yes; war veterans’ chairmanship, yes; politburo and Cabinet appointments – I don’t’ really care.
In fact, two days ago I asked His Excellency for the honour of dismissing me because I only came in to save the revolutionary ethos and not to be served,” he is quoted saying. “I came back into politics voluntarily in 2000 to help confront the menacing threat of nascent MDC. This was after years in the lucrative cellular and Internet business,” he said. “Between 2007 and 2013, I was again out of government commission.
As a war veteranturnedbusinessman, I don’t have a craving for a public job if it is not elected. You will recall I spurned the offer of a second ambassadorship to Germany in 2006.” “To understand that, over the years I developed autonomous selfactualisation capabilities stemming from the sustained hostility by his (Mugabe) government even as he showed partiality to me.” “So I have no sobs over the abuse of his high office to hound me,” he said. “I am in a different mould from the vapid and vacuous ‘Gang of Four’ of Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere and Zhuwao. They are clutching on the robes of Jiang Jing and Mao era Gang of Four lunacy.”