An Ex Zipra veteran Max Mkandla has warned former President Robert Mugabe to shut up about claiming that this year’s elections will not be free and fair because he during his tenure retained power through violence and refused to hand it to the late Morgan Tsvangirai who had trounced him by 73% in 2008.
The remarks came after Mugabe reportedly claimed that this year’s elections will not be free and fair and condemned President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration as having taken over from him illegal.
“Mugabe is not the right person to tell the people that this year’s elections will not be free and fair. He can not criticise Mnangagwa’s administration when he himself got into the leadership of Zanu in 1975 through clandestine means when the rest of the Zanu comrades were refusing,” Mkandla said.
“If Mugabe can disapprove Mnangagwa’s leadership it means he is disapproving his leadership. From prison in 1975, Mugabe joined Zanu when most of the party leaders had deserted Ndabaningi Sithole. He became the leader while others were refusing. Ask Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo they will tell you that he was a defector leader.”
He said Mugabe used own tactics to bulldoze himself into leadership and can not talk about constitutionalism. He said during his time as prime minister at independence Mugabe appointed Rudzayi Nguruwe to lead the police force while he appointed Peter Halls as leader of the army there by returning the power to the colonial regime.
“He there engaged the North Korean army to train the fifth brigade to kill people in Matabeleland and we ask him if that was peace and if it was fair. Since 1980 up to 2017 he never condemned violence. The opposition dwellings were killed and their homes burnt was that fair? He addressed rallies and made inflammatory remarks and preached hate speech was that fair,” Mkandla said.
“What we say is that the new administration must walk the talk and make sure that the elections are free and fair. A person like Mugabe is not the right one to talk about peace. MDC won the 2008 elections and he refused to hand power was that free and fair? I blame the new administration especially the army. These guys must just have shot him he is a disgrace to the people.”
In a scathing brief to African Union Commission (AU) chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat at his “Blue Roof” mansion in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb on Monday afternoon, Mugabe said the Mnangagwa government was illegal and the AU should help to “restore normalcy and democracy in Zimbabwe”.
In the emotionally-charged meeting, Mugabe also said the country was effectively under military rule, hence the need to urgently restore democratic order.
He said he was willing to call a spade a spade as he was not afraid of anyone to help bring Zimbabwe back to a constitutional and legal path. He added that his security and wellbeing were not guaranteed as he was being denied his constitutional benefits while his wife was being harassed.
Mugabe further said the upcoming general elections would not be free and fair as they would be run by the military.
Apart from Mugabe and Mahamat, the meeting was also attended by Mugabe’s wife Grace, AU Commissioner (Political Affairs) Minata Samate Cessouma, the AU chair’s interpreter, Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, chief secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda, Zimbabwe’s former ambassador to Namibia Chipo Zindoga, and a former diplomat in Angola now a senior official in the Foreign Affairs and International Trade ministry. The interpreter translated from French to English, and vice-versa as Mahamat asked to speak in French, but listen to Mugabe’s address in English.