HARARE – President Robert Mugabe would be standing against former liberation stalwarts with intricate details of how the nonagenarian rigs elections, an ex-Zanla commander said yesterday.
Contributing to a round table discussion by opposition political parties hosted by the Media Centre in Harare yesterday, Ambassador Agrippa Mutambara, a senior official in former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) party, predicted doom for Zanu PF in the 2018 elections.
“We know how they rigged the election and how the process took place and we felt that was not acceptable,” the respected war veteran and diplomat said.
“We were against this idea of denying other parties political space, the muzzling of media and curtailing of freedom of expression. Because of all this, Zanu PF will not win another election.”
He said the governing party was aware that “tables have turned and they will resort to violence and intimidation again.”
“The fact that the current vice president (Emmerson Mnangagwa) addressed an empty stadium on Workers’ Day is an indication that Zanu PF is unelectable,” he said.
“It was a vote of no confidence on Mugabe…We are preparing to take over in 2018 and we are busy uniting with all forces that see things the way we do.”
Mutambara also admitted that Mugabe used war veterans to unleash violence against MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC to deny him power after winning the 2008 presidential elections
He said Mugabe resorted to war veterans-fuelled violence after he was beaten in the first round of the vote by Tsvangirai.
The State-sponsored violence resulted in massive human rights violations, including rape, torture, and forced disappearance.
Mutambara said it was this diversion from the liberation war ethos that had prompted him and many other war veterans to jump ship.
“A ZPF government will investigate the atrocities committed by this administration, including all the disappearances and bring perpetrators to book even if Amai Mujuru or myself are some of them, they will be prosecuted,” the decorated ex-combatant, who retired from the Zimbabwe National Army as a brigadier-general, said.
Repeating calls for a grand coalition of opposition forces to force Mugabe out of power, Mutambara said Zanu PF had “lost direction”.
Jacob Mafume, the spokesperson of the Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP), said the country cannot afford to wait until 2018 elections because “we are faced with a serious leadership crisis”.
“We have a moribund person leading the country at a time when elections have been bastardised. We need generational change now and this calls for a coalition of all progressive forces to come together because at the rate we are going, we run the risk of letting the country disappear completely from the map of Africa like the Malaysian airline,” he said.
MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said seven out of 10 Zimbabweans are living in abject poverty and his party would usher in a new paradigm, adding Zanu PF thrives on murder and looting State resources.