FORMER President Robert Mugabe’s bid to use his divide and rule tactics on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration with the aim of causing instability in the new administration will not work, war veterans have warned.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association secretary-general Victor Matemadanda told NewsDay yesterday that the former fighters and ruling party were aware of Mugabe’s sinister plan.
“[Vice-president Retired Commander Defence Forces General Constantino) Chiwenga and Mnangagwa are not going to be divided by a 94-year-old power-hungry man who thinks he is the best thing to have happened to this country.
“Mugabe must understand that when Chiwenga declared Operation Restore Legacy, Mnangagwa was out of the country, forced into exile by his goons who wanted to kill him,” Matemadanda said.
Mugabe was forced to resign in November last year after a military intervention that placed him under house arrest triggering an internal Zanu-PF process that brought then exiled former Vice-President Mnangagwa to return and take power.
Matemadanda said Mugabe also intended to paint Chiwenga in bad light.
“Unfortunately, Mugabe wants to project an image of a Chiwenga who cannot think on his own, he wants to paint a picture of a General who was arm-twisted into action by someone sitting in a foreign land. That will not work.
“Mugabe has divided us for too long to his advantage and that will not be allowed ever again. Here is a man who got so drunk with power that he thought the loyalty that people accorded him was a sign of foolishness,” the war veterans chief said.
“People fought and killed each other in his name as he watched. He was happy because it allowed him to keep power. Now we have learnt our lesson. Mugabe was behind every factional fight that ever happened especially in Zanu-PF and that allowed him to retain power for 37 years.”
Mugabe told friends and relatives who gathered at his private home to mark his 94th birthday at the weekend that Mnangagwa’s administration was “illegal.”
He also passed unpalatable comments about the military. But Matemadanda said the military currently has the most educated personnel per-capita compared to other institutions.
“I can tell you that the army currently has the highest number of medical doctors when compared even with the Ministry of Health. It is disheartening that Mugabe now claims the military is stuffed with uneducated people when he was commander-in-chief for 37 years.
“It reflects on the character of the man, selfish and divisive. He is basically admitting that he willingly abused the army for selfish reasons. Mugabe is telling the world that he willingly allowed the recruitment of uneducated people in order to make sure they would never question him, he said.