HARARE – Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo lept to the defence of President Robert Mugabe, who has been under criticism for threatening to crush war veterans loyal to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Writing on his twitter account, Moyo said Mugabe’s stance is not bad considering that they threatened bloodshed if their preferred candidate did not become the party’s next president.
“It’s illegal for groups that are armed or are linked to arms to threaten bloodshed to achieve a political end,” Moyo twitted.
While some have been saying Mugabe’s threats to crush war veterans in similar manner to the way he dealt with dissidents in the 1980s invoke Gukurahundi memories, the former government spin-doctor thinks otherwise.
“Did … Mugabe threaten a 2nd Gukurahundi as alleged by political arsonists? No! No!
“… Mugabe warned dissident war vets on bloodshed threats but didn’t warn their supporters or any civilian. The tendency by political arsonists to abuse Gukurahundi for opportunistic political purposes is very hurtful to Gukurahundi victims.
“The evil of Gukurahundi was the brutalisation of the civilian population seen as supporters (of) armed dissidents. What’s sad here is the failure by self-righteous do-gooders to condemn threats by some war vets to spill blood.”
Addressing a Zanu PF central committee meeting last week, Mugabe described the move by Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) as tantamount to a rebellion.
“The ZNLWVA was formed to cater for the welfare of our veterans and not to champion the struggle for political change, not to be the boss of the party and never to be the bully of the party, nor the entity to make the choices of who should be and who should not, never ever!
“Expect that within the party, always within the party and not outside the party. The dissidents tried it, they were war veterans, and you know what happened. Lots of trouble, lots of fighting, lots of suffering of course to our people, and these dissent activities cannot be allowed.
“Do we see another rise of dissident activity? The leadership with our experience says no to the war veterans association. It’s not your function; it’s not your business to talk a lot on who shall succeed the president.
“Dissident activities cannot be allowed. It ended in December 1987 when Joshua Nkomo and I put our hands together and our hearts together to say never again shall we allow this to happen,” the visibly agitated Mugabe said.