Lovemore Mataire Harare Bureau
WAR veterans leader Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa has launched an unrestrained attack on Zanu-PF politburo member Professor Jonathan Moyo, accusing him of leading a faction in the party and fomenting disunity.
Cde Mutsvangwa said leaders without institutional memory and emotional attachment to the liberation struggle were behind the current disharmony in the revolutionary party.
Cde Mutsvangwa, who is the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association chairperson and also the Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees, accused Prof Moyo and other unnamed leaders of trying to “refashion” Zanu-PF.
“There’re certain people with dubious histories who’re causing divisions in the party. Like all opportunists, all these so-called G40s (Generation 40s) must have the courage of their convictions and form their own party like what Morgan Tsvangirai did. They must not try to appropriate a party that so many people worked and died for, to refashion it into their own images,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
He said some “arrivists” with “overblown egos” had hatched a plan to purge all former freedom fighters in the vain hope of one day taking over the revolutionary party.
“There’s a certain professor who thinks that the status and glories accorded to him in the party and with an overblown ego thinks that he can one day be the leader. He suffers from mental amnesia about his truancy at the crucial stage of the armed struggle [war of independence],” Cde Mutsvangwa said.
Cde Mutsvangwa claimed the so-called G40 was the brainchild of Professor Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development who penned an article advocating a new shift in Zanu-PF politics to embrace the youth as a strategy of survival — a population demographic he dubbed ‘Generation 40’.
“The criteria for its identification and existence can be traced to the person who authored it. It was in an article, which recently appeared in the Press, where the same professor talked about the G40. How do you deny something which has been penned by the person who organises it? How do you deny it for him?” Cde Mutsvangwa said.
He said Prof Moyo and his associates were irreverent to those who fought the war in the 1950s and 1960s, and was patronising young people in order to claim leadership based on age and experience as he could not confront his peers.
“We’re not surprised that he’s brazenly questioning the ethos, conduct and inheritance of a war which he absconded from, which he was a coward to fight. Now he wants the glory of that victory to become his pedestal to become a new power broker in Zimbabwe.
“We’ll not accept Moyo as a power broker in Zimbabwe. If he wanted to be a power broker he should’ve remained throughout the struggle and, if he had remained in the struggle, I want to question whether he would’ve remained with his life, because in the struggle, there was a lottery for lives and many people perished.”
Cde Mutsvangwa said the vote of no confidence recently passed against him by the Mashonaland West provincial executive was of no consequence as the people behind it lacked knowledge of party procedures and ethos. He said the vote of no confidence was an extrapolation of power as he was a direct appointee of President Mugabe.
The war veterans’ leader said some young and ambitious people were taking advantage of the vulnerability of some former freedom fighters wallowing in poverty to instigate divisions within the association.
In a statement on Monday, Prof Moyo said Cde Mutsvangwa had “gone rogue in pursuit of not just a factionalist agenda but also a desperate succession plot”.
Lovemore Mataire Harare Bureau