Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Zimbabwe Herald Editorial Comment: War Vets Must Be Wary of the Enemy
July 28, 2016
Opinion & Analysis
Zimbabwe Herald

There is no denying that the solidarity meeting organised by war veterans in support of President Mugabe in Harare yesterday was a rushed affair. The reason for the meeting was a communiqué attributed to war veterans who met at Raylton Sports Club in Harare last Thursday which denounced President Mugabe’s leadership and purportedly announced an end to the relationship between Zanu-PF and the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association. That the indaba turned out to be such a huge success speaks to the undisputed organisational capacity of the governing Zanu-PF party. It could have been an embarrassing disaster.

That said, President Mugabe rose to the occasion and demonstrated that he is still fully in charge. There were efforts to widen divisions in the party, to split the top leadership; in particular, to try and force the President to fire one of his deputies, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa.

There were anxious moments when people didn’t know what the President was being asked to do. When the President stood up to speak, he spoke the language of the leader that he is, speaking about the importance of unity in the party. He is more than conscious that Zanu-PF cannot get stronger by continually expelling members on the basis of every allegation. There are bigger issues to deal with in the country and the party and the need for unity cannot be over emphasized.

“Let’s keep together,” said the President. He said people were wont to make allegations which they could not substantiate, but still expected the leadership to act on. That would not happen, he said.

The President’s words must have shocked and embarrassed the gangs in the private media who have a morbid desire for the collapse of Zanu-PF as the only way foreigners can then have a free reign in Zimbabwe through opposition parties they have sponsored since the late 1990s.

President Mugabe also warned the party to be wary of the hand of the enemy within and external which was always looking for chinks to undermine and break up the revolutionary party. If anyone were in doubt as to the President’s sincerity about the need for unity in the party and ranks of the war veterans, such doubts must have been scrubbed off by the words of the Minister for War Veterans, ex-Detainees, ex-Restrictees and their Welfare Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube in his vote of thanks.

He said on his appointment as minister he was given two tasks by the President: to unite the war veterans and to work on improving their welfare. His point was that although he was angry and disappointed by the traitorous communiqué purporting to have been originated by war veterans, he didn’t find it in his mandate to denounce anyone.

He said that would be against the mandate to unite and bring peace among war veterans. That is the task he was given. In our view, this is an example of the leadership speaking with one voice. President Mugabe was not talking about his desire for unity for purposes of pleasing those had gathered in solidarity with him. He was continuing a message he had communicated as a mandate for one of his ministers.

He simply reinforced that desire in his speech, where low lifers expected him to denounce to hell those with different opinions. The biggest task now lies with members in the lower structures of the party. It is here that most are easily influenced by the private media, social media and other gossip and foreigners who use food donations as a bait to sell their vile propaganda.

It is there that the greatest vigilance is required. These are often hungry people who are most susceptible to manipulation by those who assert solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe while fighting their Government.

It is the same old, tried and tested divide and rule tactics of colonial times. The surprise is that they still have believers, worse among people we would expect to know better than the rural folk they despise as illiterate. All we can say is, united we stand. So far so good.

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