The Zimbabwean government said on Saturday that it has launched an investigation into the origins and authors of a statement purportedly released by war veterans during the week, chastising President Mugabe and his style of leadership.
Secretary to an umbrella association for war veterans and other freedom fighters, Brigadier-General (Rtd) Walter Tapfumaneyi had stated on Friday that all patriotic freedom fighters were still loyal to the ZANU PF government.
According to him, those supposed to have attended the meeting that criticized the government and supposedly revoked support for Mugabe had distanced themselves from the traitorous and treasonable communique.
Government, therefore, dismisses the said traitorous so-called communique which is treasonable in the constitutional democracy that Zimbabwe is, with utter disdain and all the contempt that it deserves.
‘‘Government, therefore, dismisses the said traitorous so-called communique which is treasonable in the constitutional democracy that Zimbabwe is, with utter disdain and all the contempt that it deserves,’‘ Tapfumaneyi is quoted to have said by Zimbabwe’s Herald online portal.
He added that beyond investigations, the government was going to punish those behind the communique which said that Mugabe was not going to win the next elections.
“Mugabe is not going to win election” adding that he is “very sorry for his advisors, they are misguiding him because they are not in touch with the ground,” Colonel Beta Guvheya, himself a war veteran said whiles speaking on behalf of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association.
“We have no manager who is able to manage the economy of this country, this is why we are saying Mugabe must go. We did not fight for one centre of power and we did not fight for one family to benefit from the economy of this country,” he added.
Zimbabwe’s economy has been on the decline since the early 2000s with inflation running in the negative and unemployment on the rise. A drought in the southern part of Africa has also compounded the situation in the country once known as the breadbasket of Africa.
The veterans participated with Mugabe in Zimbabwe’s war of independence in the 1970s. The War Veterans Minister, Tshinga Dube however advised that veterans should approach the president for redress of their issues rather than using confrontational measures.
The government is running out of cash, which has led to delays in payment of soldiers and civil servants for a second consecutive month. With its economic crisis to deal with, the country has experienced a series of demonstrations and strikes in recent weeks.