Monday, 25 July 2016

Many support Mugabe because "the people and not war veterans" elected him - wink, wink! By Nomusa Garikai

The rogue war veterans’ demand for President Mugabe to resign has definitely thrown the cat amongst the caged hawks. There is both surprised and anger on the part of the hawkers at this reckless intrusion. They know the cat is not there for a friendly chat. There is surprise and confusion on the part of the cat; it can see from those aggressive hawk-eyes, hooked beak and dagga talons that these are NOT pigeons! This is not a fight for a meal but a fight for dear life, the vanquished will be the victor’s dinner!

Ever since last week when the war veterans issued their demand for President Mugabe to resign, he has been at sixes and sevens as to what to do, who to trust and distrust, fight or flight. The one thing that has been crystal clear to him is that this is going to be his toughest fight ever; it is not just his political career that is at stake here, his very life too is at stake.

President Mugabe has used, abused and betrayed so many people so many times in his long political career he knows that many of them now hate him with a consuming passion. With so many enemies baying for his demise he does not know who to trust and he hears the sarcasm in every pledge of loyalty!

"We don't subscribe to that as war veterans. War veterans have no mandate to talk against the President because he was not elected by war veterans but by the people of Zimbabwe,” said George Mlala, a member of the war veterans' council of elders.

"What has been said in that communique is out of context and not supported by war veterans. If there are any war veterans who don't want President Mugabe to be their patron anymore, they should say it out at congress not through a communique."

Almost everyone who has pledged their continued support of President Mugabe since last Thursday has been very emphatic of his electoral mandate “he (Mugabe) was not elected by war veterans but by the people of Zimbabwe” as if their continued supported hinges on that fact. Everyone who is anyone in Zanu PF, in Zimbabwe and beyond knows that President Mugabe has been rigging elections for years. They have only now woken up to the possibility that Mugabe rigged the elections and hence are seeking reassurance that he was indeed elected by the people in free, fair and credible elections!

Worse still for Mugabe, the people he has used extensively in all his vote rigging activities are the people he is having the fight with here – the rogue war veterans. It was them who carried out most of the harassment, beating, rape and some of the murders in the wanton violence of the 2008 elections. They are also the foot soldiers who did the subtle work of coercing the public to attend Zanu PF rallies and then marshalled the bussed supporters casted the multiple votes in 2013 elections.  

If anyone knows the details of how President Mugabe has rigged past elections it is the war veterans. If anyone can produce damaging evidence on vote rigging, it is the war veterans and we know that if they are pressured, they will do so.  

 When President Mugabe booted out war veteran president Jabulani Sibanda from the party in 2014 and the regime tried to harass him further and he started talking of the "Third Force" in the 2008 elections. There was no doubt that was a warning shot across the bow for President Mugabe to back-off and the harassment stopped. Chris Mutsvangwa, who took over the war veteran presidency from Sibanda, is no novice to political intrigue and blackmail!

“An old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentions in a proverb,” wrote Chinua Achebe in his book Things Fall Apart.

At 92 years of age, the mention dry bones will make President Mugabe too ill at easy. But it is the mention of rogue war veterans, of growing demands for him to go and of how he was elected by the people in free, fair and credible elections (the sarcasm is never lost on him) that his dry bones rattling like a rattle snake. It is sheer terror that grips him; he has amassed so many enemies there will be no victory for him because they will all fight him one after another until he is defeated.

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