The ruling Zanu PF party let loose the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans
Association (Znlwva) yesterday to denounce the MDC Alliance leadership for challenging Presidentelect Emmerson Mnangagwa’s win in the Constitutional Court (Con-Court).

Let’s campaign for Zanu-PF victory, says Matemadanda

ZNLWVA railed at MDC Alliance principals Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti, including their lawyer Thabani Mpofu, in Harare yesterday, saying they were behind the United States’ decision to extend sanctions on Zimbabwe.

The trio have been a thorn in Zanu PF’s backside before, during and after the July 30 harmonised elections won by Mnangagwa’s party.

They accuse the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of manipulating the plebiscite in favour of Zanu PF, with Chamisa escalating his case to the Con-Court where the full bench of the superior court will hear his petition, starting today.

Stung by the impasse created by the Con-Court appeal, ZNLWVA secretary-general Victor
Matemadanda told a news conference in the capital yesterday that Chamisa and Biti must be removed from their positions in the main opposition party.

He said bona fide MDC supporters should kick out the former student leaders from the Alliancebecause they turned themselves into enemies of the State by lobbying Washington to extend sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Washington recently extended sanctions on Zimbabwe, much to the chagrin of Zanu PF faithful.

“We are concerned by the traitors, Biti, Chamisa and Mpofu who called for the extension of sanctions,” said Matemadanda.

“They want to reverse what is clearly a Zanu PF win, they will not win. Those who voted for (Douglas) Mwonzora for the post of secretary-general (of the MDC) ahead of Chamisa should now stand up and throw Chamisa to the dustbin. The MDC is now losing its values (because of) Chamisa.

He is just like his mentor, Mugabe, a dictator,” added the ZNLWVA secretary-general.

He sensationally claimed that former president Robert Mugabe was behind the MDC Alliance’s ConCourt application, saying the 94-year-old teetotaller has gone into bed with the MDC Alliance leadership.

The war veterans, whose sheer numbers at the media briefing, dwarfed the journalists who were present, threatened to march to the Robert Mugabe International Airport to have the name changed back to the Harare International Airport.

The boisterous former liberation war fighters sloganeered and punched clenched fists in the air as they exalted Mnangagwa.

They were particularly incensed by Chamisa’s Con-Court petition and his show of strength through press-ups when he led protesters against Zec.

While Chamisa has disowned those who picketed in the streets, Matemadanda said his press-ups were meant to incite his supporters to riot.

Zanu PF has been desperately trying to woo foreign investors and improve ties with the international community.

While the international community had warmed up to its overtures, it had premised its support on the administration’s ability to hold free, fair and credible elections.

Although the pre-poll period was relatively peaceful, all hell broke loose after the military killed six civilians in central Harare early this month as it tried to quell the demonstrations that had broken out in the capital as MDC Alliance supporters protested against Zec’s delays in releasing results of the presidential poll.

“Zimbabwe should have an opposition but not sell-outs like Chamisa…As war veterans we don’t see why the inauguration of our president is not taking place. He has the credentials, he was enslaved and imprisoned. That person cannot be judged on the same platform with Chamisa.

“We will not follow the American way. We will follow ours. This Parliament is going to be forced by people to amend laws that benefit foreigners… As war veterans, we will not accept uncle Toms like Chamisa and Biti, Mpofu included,” said Matemadanda.

He slammed the US for its double standards, saying they should have censured Chamisa as well for his part in the August 1 demonstrations.

“He (Chamisa) was clear from the onset that if he was not going to win he would not accept the results and America and other progressive nations did not ask what he meant but they chose to punish us for defending our sovereignty,” said Matemadanda.

After the shootings, Mnangagwa’s government blamed the MDC Alliance leadership for the deaths. With the ED scarf draped around their shoulders, war veterans through their spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said they were justified to disown Mugabe because he had veered off course.

“We are concerned about the unfolding development and it is of concern for us to call the people of Zimbabwe to do what they did in November. We have no option because it will be what the people will do; you will not stand in front of a broken dam wall. The MDC must exist but it must exist without Biti, without Chamisa, without Mugabe,” said Mahiya.

After the ZNLWVA’s leadership fell out with Mugabe over their overt backing of his then deputy, Mnangagwa, the war veteran claimed back then that they had seen the light and henceforth wanted to be apolitical.

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