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General Chiwenga: War Veterans Should Shut Up Over Mugabe Succession

FILE: Some members of the Zimbabwe National Army attended Heroes Day on Monday and Defence Forces Day on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga has told some disgruntled war veterans to stop denigrating President Robert Mugabe saying most of them are sellouts.

General Constantino, who claimed in an interview with The Herald newspaper that he is one of the most senior surviving former ZANLA commanders, said the combatants have to realize that civilians and not soldiers are in charge of the party.

“The party commands the combatants and not vice versa … This must now stop … If they want to remain as part and parcel of those disciplined, loyal, patriotic cadres, they must now understand that it is the party, it is the government that sets the direction.”

He said members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, which include chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa, its secretary Douglas Mahiya and several others, “were never cooked properly and they never understood what they stood for and what the revolution (of the 1970s) was all about.”

General Constantino said the majority of war veterans have nothing to do with “this nonsense that we are now getting from our media.”

The disgruntled war veterans say they won’t support President Mugabe in the next presidential election, claiming that he is to blame for Zimbabwe’s economic decay.

Two factions in the ruling Zanu PF party – one backing Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the other First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed the 93-year-old Zimbabwean leader - are fighting for the control of the ruling Zanu PF party.

Mnangagwa and Mrs. Mugabe have refuted claims that they habor presidential ambitions.

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