War vets withdraw support for Mugabe in 2018 election

2016-04-13 15:19
Robert Mugabe. (Jekesai Njiklzana, AFP)

Robert Mugabe. (Jekesai Njiklzana, AFP)

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Harare - A group of Zimbabwe's war veterans says it has revoked its support for President Robert Mugabe, 92, adding that he cannot be the ruling party's candidate in the 2018 elections, reports said on Wednesday.

According to New Zimbabwe, the group claimed that the veteran leader was no longer fit to govern the ruling Zanu-PF party and the country.

The group was reportedly linked to ousted vice president Joice Mujuru. 

The former freedom fighters accused the veteran leader of running down the country's economy and also of playing the tribal card to retain power.

"Mugabe has failed this country and he is no longer able to hold national duties. It is us war veterans who put him in power in 1975 through Mgagao document which removed Ndabeningi Sithole," the group’s leader Bernard Manyadza was quoted as saying.

But, Zanu-PF's "known" affiliate, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA), dismissed the groups claims, with its spokesperson Douglas Mahiya saying that he had no idea about the group.

According to NewsDay, Mahiya distanced the ZNLWVA from the group's claims.

"If they have withdrawn, it's them who have withdrawn. I don’t know them and I cannot comment on that. I don’t know what they are up to and I cannot comment," Mahiya was quoted as saying.

Mugabe has in recent months come under fire from the country's war veterans, with the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform (ZLP) accusing him of deserting, and eroding the country's liberation war values.

ZLP secretary general Wilson Nharingo was recently quoted as saying that the nonagenarian had abused and used the freedom fighters for his own benefit.

This came after Mugabe met with at least 10 000 war veterans on Thursday last week in order to find solutions to problems that were allegedly engulfing the ruling Zanu-PF party and the country.

The "crunch" meeting between Mugabe and former freedom fighters came a month after the country’s riot police fired water cannon and teargas to disperse a group of war veteranswho had planned to march over the escalating feud in the battle to succeed Mugabe.

Reports indicated that the infighting within Zanu-PF seemed to be widening, with the former liberation fighters reportedly supporting Deputy President Emmerson Mnangagwa for presidency when Mugabe finally left office.

However, a group of apparently "rogue" young Turks, known as the Generation 40 (G40), seemed determined to block Mnangagwa from assuming presidency.

The G40 reportedly backed Mugabe's wife Grace.

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  grace mugabe  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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