Why war vets want Mugabe out


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mugabe-supporters-demo

Zimbabwe’s war veterans are not likely to endorse President Robert Mugabe to contest another term because that would be a breach of an agreement they reached with him seven years ago.

According a source, it was agreed at the party’s 2009 congress that Mugabe would be the party’s presidential candidate at the 2013 elections because there was no acceptable successor but that would be his last term.

At the time, Mugabe’s deputies were Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo.

Nkomo died in January 2013 while Mujuru was expelled from the party after the 2014 congress which ushered in Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.

War veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa hinted at this when he was dismissed from the government when he said he could not trust Mugabe any longer.

“The man I had trusted and served for 40 years was no longer there. I came out unsure of whether I could hang onto his word. I left with a distinct feeling of mistrust,” he said after a one-on-one meeting with Mugabe.

The war veterans want Mugabe to step down because they believe that he now has an acceptable successor, his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa. They fear that if Mugabe contests the elections the party will lose.

“If he announces his retirement date, the economy will improve because there is nobody who will invest his money where the future is uncertain. Nobody will lend money to a 92-year-old and if he does not step aside, 2018 will be the most difficult year to campaign for us, as war veterans,” war veterans said in a communiqué in July.

Party youths who are allegedly behind a faction called G40 say Mugabe should be president for life. The party endorsed his candidature for 2018 but there is still one more annual conference before the elections.

Mnangagwa seems to be playing his cards right and seemed to have a lot of support from the conference delegates contrary to reports that he is not popular within the party.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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