Zimbabwe Defence Forces chief General Constantine Chiwenga has categorically stated that war veterans are the bedrock of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.
Addressing mourners at the funeral of one of the liberation fighters, Brigadier General James Murozvi, Chiwenga said Murozvi had fought his fight. Now it was up to those remaining to carry on the fight.
“Ours is to continue it, pursuing with vigour, our role as the veterans of the liberation struggle, of being the ideological school of the nation, custodians of the revolution and the bedrock upon which our party, ZANU-PF, shall continue to build itself for as long as we survive,” he was quoted by the State-controlled Herald as saying.
War veterans are at loggerheads with G40, a faction of the party said to be loyal to First Lady Grace Mugabe.
There has also been an argument that liberation fighters have always followed their political leaders and not the other way round.
But they have also vowed in the past that they will never salute anyone without liberation credentials.
Last year, war veterans told their patron, President Robert Mugabe, that they only saluted him and no one else and there should be no slogans honouring anyone else but him.
This was after the G40 had come up with a slogan propping up Grace which said: “Kusina Mai hakuindwe.” (No one should dare go where the mother is not).
Chiwenga’s sentiments also fly in the face of the current war veterans set up as they are led by Christopher Mutsvangwa who was expelled from ZANU-PF for indiscipline.
There has been stiff resistance from the war veterans to replace Mutsvangwa and efforts by another group of war veterans led by Mandi Chimene to dislodge Mutsvangwa have so far hit a brick wall.