It is tempting for ordinary Zimbabweans to support the Chris Mutsvangwa led rogue war veterans in their basic demand for President Mugabe to resign. After all, “Mugabe must go!” has been the nation’s rallying cry for decades. Few Zimbabweans would find fault in war veteran Secretary General, Victor Matemadanda’s recent statement.
“Remember the General (Chiwenga) is an appointed officer …. He was appointed by the president and he must be seen under the constitution to be defending the president. But unfortunately, he is the commander of the Army and not of civilians,” Matemadanda argued.
“Some people think that they are more Zimbabwean than others … they think they are more Zimbabwean because they participated in the liberation struggle, but that has to be corrected. What about those who were not born then? Are they not Zimbabwean?”
Matemadanda is spot-on there, we want all Zimbabweans to enjoy the freedoms and basic human rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections and the right to life itself regardless of whether they participated in the liberation war or not. We all must have a vote and no one, absolutely no one, has the right to a veto!
Matemadanda is in fact denouncing the very thing he and his fellow rogue war veterans have been doing all these years! Zimbabwe is in this political and economic mess because the nation has been stuck with this corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship for the last 37 years. It is the rogue war veterans like Matemadanda, Chris Mutsvangwa, Jabulani Sibanda, Chenjerai (Hitler) Hunzvi and many, many others who have imposed President Mugabe and his de facto Zanu PF dictatorship on the cowed nation. They have used their liberation war credential to grant themselves the veto on who ruled Zimbabwe.
These rogue war veterans disregarded the liberation war values of freedom, liberty, peace and economic prosperity for all Zimbabweans to impose President Mugabe’s corrupt and tyrannical de facto one-party dictatorship.
It is only in the last two years that they have been in open revolt against the tyrant; firstly, because he has failed to deliver on his promise to give them a fair share of the political power and the looted wealth. Many war veterans, like the overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans, a wallowing in grinding abject poverty. The decades of Zanu PF misrule has caused total economic meltdown whose consequences have spared no one, not even some of the Zanu PF ruling elite grandees to say nothing of the long demobilized war veterans.
The second reason the war veterans are in revolt is to stop Mugabe handing over power to his wife and her band of generation 40 years (G40). She has already complained of that war veterans must stop claiming “special privileges” for themselves just because they fought in the liberation war. The regime has not always paid the war veterans the little allowances it promised them; under President Grace Mugabe, the payments will stop! It is little wonder there is panic and revolt in the rogue war veteran camp.
Two years ago, the rogue war veterans under Chris Mutsvangwa’s leadership denounced President Mugabe’s “dictatorial tendencies” and demanded that the dictator resign and hand over power to VP Emerson Mnangagwa.
General Constantine Chiwenga has since come out in support of President Mugabe using his playground bully-boy tactics, which Matemadanda is right to dismiss. Whilst Matemadanda is right to denounce Chiwenga’s clinging to his war record to justify his “more equal than others” claim. It must be noted that Matemadanda and his fellow rogue war veterans have themselves been claiming special privileges on the same ground. Indeed, Matemadanda and company are standing firm on their demand for Mugabe to resign and let Mnangagwa take over.
Matemadanda & co. will happily impose Mnangagwa on the nation just as readily as they have imposed Mugabe in bygone years! It is for this reason that the people of Zimbabwe must dismiss Matemadanda’s anti-Chiwenga political rhetoric; it denounces the general’s claim to veto power over war veterans but does not denounce war veterans’ veto power over povo.
Zimbabweans have fought long and hard to end the Zanu PF dictatorship, they will be foolish to be lured into a compromise in which the nation removes one dictator but only to replace him with another!