By Staff Reporter
Harare, June 11, 2016 – THE Zimbabwe People First on Friday described as “shameless and callous”, President Robert Mugabe’s threats to use the same brutal force he used against dissidents in the early 1980s, to deal with war veterans who are meddling in Zanu PF succession issues.
Party spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire said the Joice Mujuru led party was deeply concerned that Mugabe went as far as using the Gurukurahundi massacres in his attempts at wade off pressure from a section of war veterans who want him to surrender his job for one of his deputies, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Addressing a central committee meeting at the Zanu PF headquarters on Thursday, President Mugabe threatened to use the same crude tactics he used against dissidents in the early 1980s to deal with war veterans.
The dissident era, which is also referred to as the Gukurahundi era, saw up to 20,000 civilians – according to independent estimates – killed in the hands of the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade for allegedly harbouring dissidents who were against his rule.
Mugabe has never apologised for the atrocities which ended when Zanu and former Vice President Joshua Nkomo’s PF Zapu signed a unity agreement in 1987.
But Mawarire said Mugabe should not use the disgruntlement of a handful war veterans as an alibi to embark on ethnic cleansing of mostly Ndebele speaking citizens in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces..
He said this “gives rise to fears that the cornered dictator might once again use this excuse to unleash unprecedented violence on the swelling opposition to his failed incumbency countrywide”.
“… We condemn, in the strongest sense, the callous and shameless gloating over that cruel past by Mugabe,” Mawarire said.
“That Mugabe wants to use the barbaric massacre of innocent civilians, children and pregnant mothers disembowelled in front of their now traumatised, impoverished and pauperised offspring to scare off disgruntled war veterans is psychopathy taken too far.
“The threat against war veterans, both within Mugabe’s disintegrating party and without, should not be taken lightly since history has shown that the Zanu-PF leaderhas a perchance for pursuing a scotched earth policy whenever he is faced with strong political opposition.
“All right thinking Zimbabweans should therefore be worried as past experiences have shown that Mugabe resorted to exterminating more than 20 000 innocent civilians in reaction to political opposition from a handful disgruntled war veterans.”