Liberation credentials no entitlement to lead, President tells war vets
Lloyd Gumbo, Harare Bureau
PRESIDENT Mugabe has urged some war veterans to dump ill-conceived thoughts of entitlement to lead based on their status as former liberation war fighters saying they should be satisfied with positions they were getting in the ruling party.
Addressing thousands of mourners at the burial of the late national hero, Brigadier General James Jotham Murozvi, at the National Heroes’ Acre yesterday, the President said the Zanu-PF principle that “politics leads the gun” should be respected.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces lauded Brig Gen Murozvi for being a principled, dedicated cadre who never wavered on principle.
“He didn’t complain, saying the Government is making a mistake, “ he said. He was quiet. He was different and was not like some who say since I am a war veteran I have got the right to challenge and demand that things should be done this way. He knew the procedure.
“We are war veterans, yes. We came back after fighting for Zimbabwe. We have got a party that leads us, not a party that we are forced to lead.
“In this party we believe that we have a job to do, if we are to be given positions, we should accept the positions. We should agree that the politics leads the gun. So he was a loyal very loyal cadre.
“That is what is required of us. We must have love for each other, and know that we are are not different from the majority of the people and be together in whatever we do. We defeated the Boers, so today we have to solve our problems as a nation. You may be a war veteran, a detainee, collaborator, you might an ordinary person, or chiefs, the party is ours together.
“We are not different, we should all be equal in Zanu-PF. Discipline, Discipline, Discipline.”
President Mugabe described Brig Gen Murozvi as a dedicated cadre, who left the comfort of a teaching course to join the liberation struggle.
He said even after independence in 1980, Brig Gen Murozvi remained a disciplined cadre.
“Many of us might wonder who Comrade Murozvi was, to deserve national hero status which we have seen fit to bestow on him,” said President Mugabe.
“National hero status is not conferred willy-nilly on our fallen comrades, but is given after careful consideration of one’s personal attributes and contribution to the liberation of Zimbabwe, and quality of faithful service to our nation and our people, throughout one’s life.”
President Mugabe described the late Brig Gen as a disciplined cadre who accepted deployment from the liberation struggle till his demise without grumbling.
He said after independence, Brig Gen Murozvi took part in defence forces contingents that helped in Mozambique and the DRC following disturbances in those countries.
Brig Gen Murozvi also served as Zimbabwe’s Defence Attache to the United Kingdom, before being appointed principal director in the Ministry of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees.
“You were a respectful person. You knew if some got educated, the education would be supported by discipline,” said President Mugabe.
President Mugabe said Brig Gen Murozvi’s life was characterised by acts of valour and supreme sacrifice for Zimbabwe and his family that he left when he joined the liberation struggle without assurance that he would return alive.
“Leaving the country to join the liberation struggle was in itself an act of bravery and chivalry, which very few men and women voluntarily undertook at the time,” he said.
“Some people who were coerced to join the liberation struggle were the very ones who deserted the struggle. But not for the likes of the late Brigadier General Murozvi, who volunteered to go for military and guerilla training, in order to fight for the liberation of our country.
“In the period between 1975, when the young Comrade Murozvi crossed into Mozambique, until the time of the ceasefire in 1979, he undertook various assignments, which he discharged admirably.”
President Mugabe said Brig Gen Murozvi quit his teacher training course to join the liberation struggle to avoid being conscripted into the national youth service of the settler regime to fight against the oppressed fellow black Zimbabweans.
He said Brig Gen played several roles after his military training, including as political commissar.