FORMER President Robert Mugabe risks losing his right to be buried at the National Heroes’ Acre if he continues dabbling in opposition politics, former war veterans’ leader and Zanu PF legislator Joseph Chinotimba has warned.
The Buhera South legislator told supporters at a rally in his constituency that Mugabe was following the footsteps of “wartime sell-outs” like the late Zanu founding leader, Ndabaningi Sithole.
“If Mugabe and (National Patriotic Front leader Ambrose) Mutinhiri have sold out, then they are not fit to go to the national shrine. There are lots of people he denied the honour because he was in charge and was calling the shots. Sithole was denied the honour because he sold out during the war. Mugabe has sold out, he will not be buried there,” Chinotimba said in a short video of the rally that has gone viral on social media platforms.
But, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday said the party would only comment once Mugabe has died.
“We do not comment on people who have not yet died as regards hero status,” he said.
Chinotimba yesterday confirmed the utterances, warning the former Zanu PF leader was “skirting on thin ice”.
“Mugabe is playing with fire. He must sit down. We respected him, but now he wants to make unnecessary demands, including cash, when he left all our banks empty. If he is not careful he will find himself buried in Zvimba [Mugabe’s rural home].
“If Mugabe is no longer supporting Zanu PF, then he must lose all benefits. That is what we agreed on and Mugabe used the same criterion to shut out a lot other people. He must have a taste of his own medicine,” he said.
Pressure seems to be mounting on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to effectively ex-communicate Mugabe from the ruling party after reports emerged that Zimbabwe’s leader for 37 years was behind the formation of the Mutinhiri-led opposition party.
At the weekend, Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs, Paul Mangwana warned that Mugabe’s rights and priviledges might be withdrawn as they were not absolute.
“The party will have to decide. If the party is satisfied that he [Mugabe] has violated the principle [that former Presidents must not dabble in politics, especially opposition] he will lose his Zanu PF membership, he will also lose the priviledges and immunities accorded to a former Head of State and forfeit the respect he was enjoying,” Mangwana told State media.