Zimbabwe war veterans end backing for Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe's war veterans' association, which has played a key and sometimes violent role in supporting President Robert Mugabe, has released a statement withdrawing its backing for him. It accuses Mr Mugabe of dictatorial tendencies, egocentrism and

Zimbabwe’s war veterans’ association, which has played a key and sometimes violent role in supporting President Robert Mugabe, has released a statement withdrawing its backing for him.

It accuses Mr Mugabe of dictatorial tendencies, egocentrism and misrule.

It was not immediately clear if all of the war veterans agreed with the text.

Pressure on Mr Mugabe, 92, is growing, with factions in the governing Zanu-PF party openly fighting to succeed him and protests about the failing economy.

But he has said he plans to run for president again in 2018 and rule until he dies.

BBC World Service Africa editor James Copnall says that even in the most difficult moments of his 36 years in power, Mr Mugabe could always rely on the war veterans – his former comrades in Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle in the 1970s.

They were loyal supporters who sometimes provided him the muscle for political violence, our correspondent adds, so this development will be quite a blow.

“We note, with concern, shock and dismay, the systematic entrenchment of dictatorial tendencies, personified by the president and his cohorts, which have slowly devoured the values of the liberation struggle,” warned the statement released on Thursday after a meeting of representatives from across the country.

Sources told the BBC Zimbabwe analyst Lewis Machipisa that the statement reflected not only the views of some war veterans, but also senior military figures. Mr Mugabe relies heavily on the military to remain in power.

The statement said the veterans would not support Mr Mugabe’s re-election campaign, accusing him of abandoning them for the Zanu-PF’s youth league.

It also blamed Zimbabwe’s economic crisis on “bankrupt leadership”. Banks have run short of cash and the government struggles to pay civil servants.

“We are dismayed by the president’s tendency to indulge, in his usual vitriol against perceived enemies, including peaceful protesters, as well as war veterans, when the economy is on its knees,” the veterans’ association’s statement said. “He has a lot to answer for the serious plight of the national economy.”

Mr Mugabe responded to the anti-government protests earlier this week by telling the pastor who organised a nationwide strike, Evan Mawarire, to leave Zimbabwe if he was unhappy with conditions there.

Pastor Mawarire was arrested last week, but was released after a court threw out the charges of subversion against him.

He subsequently left Zimbabwe for South Africa, where he told the BBC on Thursday that he was more scared of his daughters’ criticism of inaction than what the state could do to him if he returned.

BBC

Zimbabwe war veterans end backing for Robert Mugabe

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10 COMMENTS
  • Sol July 22, 2016

    …….telling the pastor who organised a nationwide strike, Evan Mawarire, to leave Zimbabwe if he was unhappy with conditions there.

    Pastor Mawarire was arrested last week, but was released after a court threw out the charge of subversion against him……..

    Mugabe’s regime is certainly a dictatorial regime but the difference between his dictatorial regime and all dictatorial regimes for that matter and ours is that most dictatorial regimes have some functioning institutions like the court in Zimbabwe which released the Pastor who organized a nation wide strike. The rule of the single dictator in our country is a middle age type where humans are treated like animals on the contest of the dictator without any consideration to a rule of law.

  • berhane July 22, 2016

    If you are hoping Eritrean war veterans to end their backing for Esayas Afewerki then you are all
    day dreaming and hopeles losers. Eritrea is not Zimbabwe or North Korea. Eritrea is Eritrea.
    If any of you are men enough or strong enough then come out to fight from your behind computers hiding.

    • k.tewolde July 22, 2016

      berhane,you sound like the defiant,cocky,alcoholic dictator yourself,who are you referring as Eritrean war vets,majority of them are six feet under the rest are either disabled,languishing in his dungeons or scattered all over the world.It is a one man wrecking machine,and that machine is manufacturing a new clueless,confused,immature breed everyday to defend his kingdom,if he accommodates them and gave them preferential tx. they stay,if not they leave and trek and still in their mind remain loyal to him,which one of them are you?

      • AHMED SALEH July 23, 2016

        k.tewelde
        Leave to assenna moderator observe this matter . I think it is done purposely to provoke participants . I am not sure about the origin of multiple names identity . But hard to call Eritrean mouth speech .

    • Shikor Eritrea July 22, 2016

      Brother Birhane,

      I agree with you Eritreans veterans may standby when their disabled comrades are being massacred for requesting respect ,they even may stand by when more than half of the youth and great number of the elderly are leaving the counntry ,the veterans may even stand by when 5 year olds in concentration camps are being raped ,but they will never side on higdef/Isaias’s side. Some of the people giving comment are silly people that use reality as opposed to emotion.

    • Sol July 23, 2016

      So you are one of those who are happy living with this middle age type of rule.

  • Sensor police? July 22, 2016

    Hey! where’s most?

  • Aman July 22, 2016

    Too late. The coutry called “Zimbabwe” has already been dead, because of this old dictator. “ብመሶብ ኣፍሪቃ” ትፍለጥ ዝነበረት ብባህርያዊ ጸጋታት ዝተዓደለት ሃገር ሎሚ ብሰንኪ ስሰዐ ስልጣን ሓደ ሰብን “ገዳይም” ተጋደልትን ሃገራዊ ባጠራ ዘይብላ ደመወዝ ሰራሕተኛታት ክትከፍል ዘይትኽእል፡ ኣፍራይ ሓይሊ መንእሰይ ምሉእ ብምሉእ ናብ ደቡብ ዝተሰደደላ ሃገር ኮይና ኣላ። እዚ ትማሊ ብኣፍሪቃዊ ሓርበኝነቱ ዝልለ ዝነበረ ሙጋበ ንሃገር ብምልእታ ተማሊእዋ ይሓልፍ ኣሎ።
    ሓቂ ንምዝራብ እዚ ኣብ ዚምባብወ ኣጋጢሙ ዘሎ ኩንታት ምስ ናትና ኩነታት ኣዝዩ ተመሳሳሊ እዩ። ሃገርና ካብዚ ሕጂ ዘላቶ ኣዝዩ ዘሕዝን ኩነታት ክንፍውሳ እንተዘይኪኢልና ክንወጾ ኣብ ዘይንኽእል ታኸለ ከምንሽከል ዘጠራጥር ኣይኮነን።

  • AHMED SALEH July 23, 2016

    According the report they withdraw their support because they felt abandoned by Mugabe regime
    after they defended him for more than six decades . Bunch of corrupted and hypocrite veterans complain for lost of their loyalty payments . If Mugabe write them checks they will praise him again .
    It doesn’t sound people’s movement for political reform but it might encourage to rise up the silent
    population .

  • habtom July 23, 2016

    What’s about eritrean stand up

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