'We're ready to defend Mugabe,' war vets say as they warn of 'near' civil war - report

2017-10-21 12:30
President Robert Mugabe. (File: AP)

President Robert Mugabe. (File: AP)

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Bulawayo – A faction of Zimbabwe's war veterans has reportedly warned of an impending "civil war", adding that they were ready to defend President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party".

The former freedom fighters - believed to be allied to Zanu-PF's G40 faction - said that they were  "ready to defend the party and president Mugabe from those angling to dislodge him", said a New Zimbabwe.com report. 

"We are the military wing of Zanu-PF and we are ready to defend the party and we are ready to take instructions from our leaders," one of the leaders of war veterans George Mlala was quoted as saying. 

Mlala said this while speaking to other war veterans at the Zanu-PF Davies hall in Bulawayo.

Zanu-PF was divided into two distinct factions that sought to outwit each other in the battle to succeed Mugabe.

One of the camps calling itself "Team Lacoste" was linked to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa while another faction made up of Young Turks trading by the name Generation 40 was reportedly linked to First Lady Grace Mugabe.

'Stop abusing the first lady's name'

G40 was said to be seeking to torpedo Mnangagwa's presidential ambitions. 

However, both Mnangagwa and Grace have publicly denied harbouring presidential ambitions.

Mlala also criticised another faction of war veterans led by Christopher Mutsvangwa for their "continued attacks" on the First Family.

The Mutsvangwa group endorsed Mnangagwa to take over from Mugabe in 2016, saying that he was the next in line to take over the presidency. They maintained that their decision was irreversible.  

But according to NewsDay, Mlala vowed that they were not going to stand idly, as the plot to push Mnangagwa to the throne gathered momentum.

Mlala challenge the rival group to leave the ruling party if it was not happy with Mugabe's rule. 

"Now you hear people saying Grace Mugabe leads G40 . . . Stop moving in circles and abusing the First Lady’s name. Just tell us now that Mugabe is leading G40. How does Grace lead G40 without her husband when they go to the same house, stay together and walk together on a daily basis?" Mlala reportedly quizzed. 


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