By Tafadzwa Muranganwa and Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, April 12, 2016 – WAR Veterans aligned to Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader Joice Mujuru say they have withdrawn their mandate which they gave to President Robert Mugabe when they ousted then Zanu leader Ndabaningi Sithole in 1976.
The so-called Mgagao Declaration installed the then Zanu secretary general as party leader paving way for his subsequent election election as independent Zimbabwe’s founding leader.
“It is us the war veterans who put Mugabe into power,” said the war veterans in a statement read to the media Tuesday by one Parker Chipoyera.
“In 1976, officers at Mgagao training camp in Tanzania after consulting with others in Zambia and Mozambique wrote a document denouncing the then president, Ndabaningi Sithole; the document known as Mgagao document accused Sithole of abandoning the struggle to pursue personal issues.
“After considering many factors, the war veterans agreed to endorse Robert Mugabe to succeed Ndabaningi Sithole.
“In light of the above, it is abundantly clear that Robert Mugabe was not elected but selected to lead Zimbabwe’s armed struggle.
“We the war veterans who agreed to the authorship of the Mgagao document and appended our signatures to it now withdraw the mandate we gave to Robert Mugabe to be the leader.”
Parker Chipoyera and his colleagues also scornfully dismissed as a mockery, last Thursday’s meeting between their colleagues and President Mugabe, claiming gross intimidation ahead of the tense indaba.
Chipoyera was accompanied by half a dozen war veterans who all claimed they were members of the ZANLA High Command.
These were Retired Colonel Bastian Beta, Ngoni Chirauro, Wilfred Marimo, Abel Marimo and Killian Mwanaka.
The former fighters said the Harare meeting which was attended by thousands of war veterans was a waste of state resources.
“State resources were used to pay full board for comrades coming from the ten provinces and long outstanding welfare concerns were addressed before the great ‘indaba’ in order to smoothen the acrimonious relations that had developed between the war veterans association and its patrons.
“Some were even holed in expensive hotels many days before the event,” said the war veterans.
The liberation fighters, who did not attend the meeting, also castigated the screening of the war veterans ahead of the meeting and sensationally claimed that some war veterans were bribed.
“The true intention of the screening exercise was to exclude those war veterans deemed to be openly opposed to Robert Mugabe’s continued misrule of our country. Margaret Dongo was denied entry.”
“We also have it on good authority that one war veteran provincial chair received money amounting to a hefty US$15 000,”alleged the veterans.
Mujuru’s allies said Mugabe has abandoned the affairs of his war peers as witnessed by the tear gassing of hundreds of their colleagues who had convened an unsanctioned meeting.
Chipoyera warned that “pseudo veterans” who attended last week’s meeting with Mugabe could be used to terrorise innocent citizens during the 2018 election period.
However, war veterans who met Mugabe last week claim they were “gagged” against criticising the veterans leader, allegations which were dismissed by War Veterans Minister Tshinga Dube.