One of President Mugabe’s trusted vanguards, the militant liberation war heroes are turning against him following a scathing media attack.
A splinter group say their veteran leader and the patron of the war veterans, Robert Mugabe, “is corrupt, arrogant and bent at throwing the country into total chaos and betraying the values of the liberation struggle”.
The splinter group which is calling itself Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWA) and led by retired colonel Basten Beta, has embarked on a media blitz that is seen as part of Zanu PF factional wars. A war that threatens to tear the party apart. ZNLWA has in the past two weeks been running controversial adverts in national newspapers.
The group, which in 2008 urged Mugabe not to lose power, said the post-war leadership had promoted corruption, nepotism, tribalism and racism thereby betraying the values of the liberation struggle.
“Post war leadership continues to betray the values of the armed struggle by destroying unity and promoting factionalism, racism, tribalism, regionalism, nepotism, greed and corruption,” said the group in the advert.
However, Zanu PF hardliners have reacted angrily and have since started a probe. Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the party knew the people
behind the adverts and was carrying investigations to establish their motive.
“We are studying the advertisements and we will come up with a common
position as a party. We understand these advertisements are coming from people like Beta” said Mutasa.
Zanu PF and Mugabe in particular, said one of the sources, thinks Beta
wants to brew trouble for him within the rank and file of the former
Beta is allegedly aligned to a faction in Zanu PF led by retired army
general Solomon Mujuru which is fighting against one headed by Defence
minister Emerson Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe. Mujuru’s wife Joyce is Mugabe’s deputy.
The group said the government, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and state
enterprises were now being run as private businesses with ministers and the central bank governor “becoming the richest men in the country.”
It also questioned why government ministers and service chiefs, who
for the past decade have become Mugabe’s strongest pillar of political
survival, have unlimited terms of office.
“We must restore accountability and fight corruption within government… Service chiefs have a fixed term of office. Why then do we have an uninterrupted service for ministers?”
Some of the senior government officials and ministers have been in Mugabe’s administration for the past three decades.
Although war veterans spearheaded the 2000 chaotic land invasions,
very few of them benefited, while Mugabe’s cronies in the civil service, army, police and secret service have grabbed the most fertile land.