President Robert Mugabe has issued a stern warning to the war veterans leader, Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa for misleading war veterans and the nation at large by calling for an unsanctioned meeting which, however, flopped on Thursday after police intervention.
In a State of the Nation Address at State House in Harare today, Mugabe castigated Mutsvangwa for organising an illegal demonstration without informing the party leadership and government.
“Mutsvangwa did not inform me, the VPs or security ministers about the war veterans meeting. We take exception to that, he (Mutsvangwa) has acted in a manner we describe as irresponsible, completely irresponsible,” said President Mugabe.
Mugabe, who is also the patron of the war veterans association apologised for the ill-treatment of war veterans some of them who were unfortunately tear-gased by the police, saying the blame lies squarely in their chairman and minister (Mutsvangwa).
“People were naturally hurt or at least they had this water from cannons come on their bodies and teargas as well. Mutsvangwa bears responsibility for inviting war veterans to an illegal meeting, he abused his authority as Minister in the gravest way possible, we take exception to that,” the President said.
He however, demanded that Cde Mutsvangwa as the Minister of War Veterans should explain his intended hidden agenda to mobilise such a demonstration without following proper channels.
“Mutsvangwa being a Minister cannot at the end, after police have taken action against an illegal meeting, complain that he was ill-treated,” President Mugabe said.
Mugabe said the party and government will not hesitate to take action against Mutsvangwa’s unbecoming behaviour which he described as a disgrace to the nation.
President condemns party dog fights
President Mugabe also condemned the dog fights that have rocked the revolutionary party over the past few weeks saying the so-called G40 and Lacoste factions should shut up.
“Those who say we are G40 or Lacoste shut up, stop dividing the party,” said President Mugabe.
President Mugabe, who was flanked by the two vice presidents, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, did not mince his words as he condemned the so-called two factions, adding that quarrels based on tribalism and regionalism should stop forthwith.
He said Zimbabweans are sons and daughters of the soil and such issues of tribalism and regionalism are not part of our culture saying the leadership of the ruling party and government condemns such uncalled for behaviour.
President Mugabe called for oneness and urged all Zimbabweans to guard against western machinations which are aimed at dividing the nation.
“War veterans must unite. The ministry will remain, but we don’t want confusion,” said President Mugabe
Meanwhile, President Mugabe has praised the youths for their preparations of the 21st February Movement celebrations to be held in Great Zimbabwe next week in Masvingo.
He said he is happy with the venue, adding that the forthcoming celebrations should be marked with unity, peace and stability amongst the youths and the elders.
Mugabe implored the youths to avoid abusing drugs and urged them to respect the elders for the good of the party.