By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, May 17, 2016 – FORMER Home Affairs Minister and Zanu PF politburo member, Dumiso Dabengwa has called on war veterans to ignore the so-called million men march which Zanu PF youths were organising as a show of support for President Robert Mugabe’s faltering leadership.
The march, initially a Zanu PF youth initiative, is slated for Harare May 25 but some sections of the local media have reported that President Mugabe has ordered war veterans to join it.
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans spokesperson Douglas Mahiya confirmed in a local daily that the war veterans will be part of the march although the liberation fighters had previously dismissed the controversial rally.
But speaking in an exclusive interview with RadioVOP on a number of issues, Dabengwa, a war veteran and now President of the revived Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu), described the planned march as “child’s play”.
He warned his former war colleagues not to be used by Mugabe.
“Ngokwamadlwane lokhu (Its child’s play,” Dabengwa said of the march.
“War veterans should not be part of this. Why should you be part of a march to solidify power for someone else when we have so many things to worry about?
“Even the youths, most of whom are educated, I hear are organising this march. I wonder why they are marching; what will it bring for them?”
The former Zipra intelligence supremo said war veterans who still supported Zanu PF needed to have their “heads examined”.
“If there is a war veteran who still supports Zanu PF, they must have their heads examined,” he said.
“They should note that we need new people to change this country for good. We never went to war to support one person.”
He blamed war veterans for ignoring the plight of their Zimbabwean compatriots since independence saying what was happening in the country currently was far from what they all fought for.
“I blame the war veterans; we fought for the freedom and liberation of our people. We took Zimbabwe, and we have a government in power for 36 years; where is Zimbabwe by now?” he said.
The Zapu leader also took a swipe at “modern day” war veterans who claimed to have taken part in the liberation war for opportunistic purposes.
“Most of the things we hear about these so-called heroes are all lies.
“Heroes who did special things in Zipra will never be heard making noise. The Zipra war vets who bombed tanks are still alive but they don’t make noise.
“Heroes who bombed the Cassino Elephant Hills in Victoria Falls are there but you will never hear them make noise,” he said.
Dabengwa, who ditched Zanu PF ahead of the 2008 elections to join other former PF Zapu stalwarts revive the old Zapu, also berated the war veterans who hailed from Zapu for still being part of Zanu PF saying they were selfish stooges of Mugabe.
“All those in Zanu PF are about their stomachs. If they speak against evil they will be said to be Zapu and lose their bread.
“They are just Mugabe’s runner boys. They are our brothers but weak men who have said to themselves ‘ukufa kweyinye indoda yikuvuka kweyinye, uma uzibanibani engafa akulamsebenzi (the fall of others is seen as an advantage to their selfish interests),” he said.
Commenting on Zipra properties seized by Mugabe’s government at the height of the Zanu, PF Zapu hostilities post independence, Dabengwa said the assets should be given to war vets from his party’s association.
“Zipra is a military wing of Zapu. We have Zipra veterans association, the organisation which gave birth to Zapu which is still there, hence its the one entitled to that property.
“Those who are in Zanu PF are there for their stomachs, we won’t include them in Zipra, they are enjoying where they are, bazaqumba (they will soon be saturated),” he added.
Commenting on his party’s upcoming congress, Dabengwa said they were currently trying to source for funding to hold the reunion.
He also voiced support for the envisaged grand coalition among opposition forces in the country adding they must push for reforms through the Parliament.