FIREWORKS: Zanu PF and war veterans attack EU and MDC Alliance, EU envoy Timo Olkkonen fires back


WAR veterans have declared that they will not let power slip into the hands of the opposition MDC party, which they accuse of being a proxy of the West.

Speaking after a national executive meeting of the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZLWVA) in Harare yesterday, spokesperson Douglas Mahiya, who is also a Zanu PF employee, claimed that the liberation war fighters were aware that the EU wanted to destabilise President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rule.

War vets spokesperson Douglas Mahiya

“We know why the EU is doing that, we know why the EU is supporting the opposition. It is because it is the same war that they were fighting against us and we are prepared to take it up because it’s a struggle,” Mahiya said.

“We never wanted war, we never want war, but when war comes, you have no option, but to accept it. We want the EU to know that.”

War veterans fall under the Defence ministry and the ruling Zanu PF in April directed that they occupy influential positions of chairperson and or vice and political commissar and or deputy political commissar, giving them a lead role in running Zanu PFand government affairs.

In the past, their utterances have been on point regarding the party’s thinking on national issues.

“War veterans sat down today to be able to tell the nation, to tell the world that we are there and unmoved. In fact, the question of power, what we went out there to do was nothing else but to get power and the question of power surely will not be negotiated,” Mahiya said.

“It will never be negotiated. It will never be gotten in any other terms other than struggling, and so we struggled and got that power. It is misdirection to think that the power we got, (that which) other people struggled to get, the African person who get power from the white man … Where it concerns power, we will never stop fighting. In other words, we will defend the political power that we got.”

Mahiya said the war veterans were a “renowned force which was well aware that the EU was mooting to destabilise the government of Mnangagwa”.

“We are a force that is known and has made history to have defeated these forces today. We hear the European Union trying to cement their relationship with those who are fighting against the State of Zimbabwe. The EU must know that Zimbabwe has a force that has made it possible, that the people of Zimbabwe gain political power and be able to make their own policies and determine their own destiny,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zanu PF yesterday castigated the opposition party over its planned nationwide demonstrations.

In a statement, Zanu PF national spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo, said the MDC’s “continued and stubborn pursuit of its destabilisation agenda has now reached its zenith”, a feat the ruling party said it could no longer ignore.

“The revolutionary Zanu PF party can no longer watch idly while the … peace and tranquillity the country enjoys is undermined by a puppet organisation hell bent on pleasing its foreign handlers,” he said.

Khaya Moyo also warned diplomats and non-governmental organisations to desist from interfering in political processes within the country, saying the party would not be guided on how to run its affairs in a democratic manner.

But EU ambassador Timo Olkkonen hit back, describing allegations by government that Western countries were working to effect illegal regime change in the country by funding opposition demonstrations and training civil society to stage uprisings as misplaced.

Olkkonen said such allegations were an attempt to divert the people of Zimbabwe’s attention from the real issues.

“I don’t know where these statements are coming from. I don’t believe them. We have discussed them with colleagues and I don’t believe there is truth behind them,” he said.

“So I think these issues about, you know, issues of regime change agenda and so on, are distractions. They are attempts by certain quotas of trying to divert the attention to the real problems to something that doesn’t actually exist, but sounds exciting,” Olkkonen said.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Home Affairs minister Cain Mathema accused the Western diplomats, particularly the United States and the EU, of playing opposition politics in the country.

Speaking during an HStv radio interview, on the same day, Olkkonen said he would not respond to the fake news because it would not change the minds of those propagating the agenda.

The EU envoy said he would not comment on all fake news just thrown about without justification.

“It could be a waste of my time because many of these people peddling this kind of information would not change their minds because they have some kind of agenda of their own against diplomatic missions,” he said.

Olkkonen added that commenting on the unsubstantiated claim had ripple effects on EU relations with Zimbabwe.

— NewsDay

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