WAR veterans aligned to the Zanu PF G40 faction have called for the dismissal of War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube for urging President Robert Mugabe to anoint or groom a successor to end the factional fighting in the party.
by EVERSON MUSHAVA
Dube at the weekend said Mugabe, at the age of 93, would step aside some day, hence, the need for him to groom a successor to avoid the likelihood of chaos reminiscent of what happened in Uganda and Central African Republic.
His views were shared by the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), that has repeatedly called on Mugabe to hand over power to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
But G40-aligned war veterans’ self-proclaimed leader Mandiitawepi Chimene, who is also Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister, took a swipe at Dube while addressing ex-freedom fighters and party youths, saying he was no longer fit to remain their minister.
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Chimene has tried but failed to wrest the ZNLWVA leadership after the High Court last month threw out her application on which she sought nullification of an order that identified Mutsvangwa as the legitimate war veterans leader.
“The President is still there, who is he (Dube) to tell him (Mugabe) to choose a successor. Here is the constitution of the party, I have gone through it and there is nowhere in this document where it is written that the President should choose his successor,” Chimene said.
She said Mutsvangwa was fired because he had digressed from the needs of the ex-freedom fighters to pursue selfish succession interests. Chimene accused Dube, who took over from Mutsvangwa as War Veterans minister, of trying to do the same.
“This post (Minister of War Veterans) needs cleansing. Anyone who lands it starts to behave like his predecessor.
“We thought Dube was better, but we were wrong,” Chimene said.
She said Dube should not mislead people that his views were shared by the war veterans.
In what appeared to be a direct attack on Mnangagwa, Chimene accused Dube of fronting some people who wanted to take over power from Mugabe.
“They were all in the President’s first government, but they say he has overstayed. If the President has overstayed, they have also overstayed and should both go,” she said.
Mnangagwa has been in government since independence. He is accused of leading a faction, Team Lacoste, in the Zanu PF succession race. Chimene has openly called for Mnangagwa to be expelled from the party for allegedly fanning factionalism, claims the VP has denied on several occasions.
Chimene’s deputy, George Mlala, also said the war veterans’ meeting was in solidarity with Mugabe and that Dube should be fired for undermining the President by asking him to anoint a successor when he was still in office.
“We endorsed the President as the party’s candidate in next year’s general elections. The party constitution is clear that he will be there until the next congress in 2019. So if he chooses a successor, where will the successor be until 2019? There is only one State House. What will the successor be doing? These are not our views as freedom fighters and we say Dube should go,” Mlala said.