“We fought to liberate this country but when the people say we should go, we will step down. I hope the people won’t say that because we liberated Zimbabwe,” Mutasa, who has in the past declared presidential ambitions, told The Zimbabwean.
His statement contradicts the position security chiefs have maintained since the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change in 1999. Army generals have repeatedly vowed that they would not respect any leader without“war credentials”.
Mutasa is optimistic that the controversial indigenisation programme, seen as a “share grab” along the lines of the “land grab” of 2000, will guarantee Zanu (PF) victory at the next polls.
“As a matter of fact, we have greater support now since we are empowering the people through the indigenization programme,” he claimed. Mutasa defended the army for its involvement in politics and elections, saying they had a democratic right to do so. He said it was ‘‘naïve and arrogant’’ for anyone to insinuate that the military should not be involved in elections and politics.
‘‘Almost everyone in the Politburo (Zanu (PF) decision making body) went to war to liberate this country and that includes Constantine Chiwenga and Perence Shiri. What does it mean now to say that they can’t be (actively involved in elections)? ‘‘Should they now cease to exercise their democratic right to be in politics, a right which they fought for?
“Does it make any sense to say they should now cease to support Zanu (PF) because they are now in the military?’’ said Mutasa.
Mutasa acknowledged deep seated factionalism within his party, but distanced himself from any camp. “I belong to Zanu(PF)and for those that have factions, let them have them. I cannot stop them. As a matter of fact I was thinking about it this morning while I was on my way from Rusape that if I am asked this question my response would be that I belong to both camps because they make the party,’’ he said.
There are numerous camps within the party, one of them being Mugabe’s staunch loyalists, who include Mutasa. Diplomatic cables leaked last year indicated that several influential members of the party confided in secret meetings that they wanted Mugabe to go because he had overstayed.Post published in: News