Mugabe vows second Gukurahundi to block Mnangagwa succession

By: 
Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe stunningly warned of a second Gukurahundi Thursday, describing as dissidents the war veterans leadership which has declared Emmerson Mnangagwa as the only candidate for succession.

Mnangagwa, currently co-vice president, has the backing of the former fighters but faces determined opposition from a ruling Zanu PF faction that appears to back Mugabe’s wife, Grace, and includes the other vice president, Phelekezela Mphoko.

At a recent meeting in the Midlands province, the war veterans warned that there would be bloodshed if Mnangagwa was blocked from succeeding Mugabe who turned 92 this year.

But a furious Mugabe hit out at the former fighters while addressing a Zanu PF central committee meeting in Harare on Thursday.

Tellingly, he made reference to the post-independence Gukurahundi atrocities when he unleashed a specially trained army unit on dissidents in the Matebeleland and Midlands provinces, killing a claimed 20,000 civilians in the process.

The Zanu PF leader said the war veterans association should concern itself with the welfare of ex-fighter and stay away from succession politics.

“We created the war veterans association to be responsible for the welfare of the war veterans and not for members to be involved in the succession issues in the party,” said Mugabe.

“The war veterans who are taking of succession are dissidents as we remember the dissident’s time in the 80’s where some war veterans had become dissidents and they was a lot of trouble and people suffered a lot.

He then thundered: “We don’t want to see dissidents in the war veterans association as we don’t want to repeat what happened as government took action against them.

“Myself and the late vice President Joshua Nkomo agreed to end the dissident activities in 1987 signing the unity Accord and this time we also going to take action.

He continued: “Are we seeing another dissident rise again?

“War veterans must know that it is the politics that leads the gun not vice versa as the war veterans are not bosses of the party. The dissidents tried it and failed.

“The war veterans leaders have no business to talk about succession in the party they should stick to their mandate of looking at the welfare of the war veterans.

“War veterans are trained cadres who must be disciplined and know the rules of the party to be followed not to decide to appoint a successor without elections or the people deciding. This is the way dissidents behave.

“Dissidents' activities should not be allowed again. I am stunned by the war vets. If their wishes are not fulfilled there will be bloodshed. What bloodshed do they want to spill again?"

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