A REBEL war veterans’ group led by Patrick Nyaruwata has warned of civil unrest and declared war against the rival camp sympathetic to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Team Lacoste faction, as the Zanu PF succession fights escalate ahead of the party’s extraordinary congress in December.
Nyaruwata’s deputy, George Mlala, told members of his group at the Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial offices at Davis Hall on Wednesday that they should brace for war against the First Family’s detractors.
The threats came after the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led executive of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association vowed to crush the G40 faction at the extraordinary congress in December and block any attempts to push out Mnangagwa from office.
The Mutsvangwa group has declared its allegiance to Mnangagwa and wants him to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
But Mlala said they would not stand idly, as the plot to catapult Mnangagwa to the throne gathers momentum.
“We know they are claiming to be targeting [First Lady] Grace, accusing her of being the leader of G40, when their actual target is Mugabe . . . Our message to those who are part of this plot is that simply say ‘thank you for accommodating us’ and quit Zanu PF. Do not wait for us to push you out, because we will,” Mlala said, disclosing that they were “now foot-soldiers of Zanu PF”.
“From today, we submit ourselves to the party; we are now working with the party as party soldiers. Our duty as the as party soldiers, military wing of the party, is to take instructions from the party . . . Zanu PF will take care of its soldiers.”
He added: “Now you hear people saying Grace Mugabe leads G40 . . . Stop moving in circles and abusing the First Lady’s name. Just tell us now that Mugabe is leading G40. How does Grace lead G40 without her husband when they go to the same house, stay together and walk together on a daily basis?
“Why don’t you call a spade a spade and say Mugabe is the leader of G40? You cannot say G40 is led by Grace, leaving out Mugabe .
. . We cannot also allow ourselves to be seen insulting the party leaders, particularly the First Family. We cannot keep quiet about this and say all is well. War vets, stand up, let us be careful, the war is close.”