PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday castigated arrogance by some Zanu-PF members whom he said want to use their war veteran or intellectual status as a basis to justify their misplaced legitimacy above others in the party.
Speaking at the closing of the 15th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference, President Mugabe said everyone made contributions during the war of liberation and in as much as war verterans’ sacrifices were acknowledged, it doesn’t put them ahead of other members.
“This thing of saying I went to war you didn’t go to war, nonsense! We should not hear that at all from anyone.
(Vice-Presidents Phelekezela) Mphoko and (Emmerson) Mnangagwa went to war, but I have never heard them saying that these ones didn’t go to war, we went to war. They know it’s a record they bear, everybody will know, but once you brag about it, we will ask did you go alone and even go further and ask what you did during the war,” said President Mugabe.
He said after the war, former freedom fighters were distributed into different sectors some of them into the party to strengthen it at different levels.
“Where they showed a kind of apartness and rudeness, the people asked what this is. In some provinces they feared to choose them as candidates for Parliament. Where they contested they lost to ordinary persons. Why? They should always recognise that they are the same as other people,” said President Mugabe.
“They have distinguished themselves, yes through their sacrifice to fight, but they are not the only ones, even the ordinary people back home made sacrifices. They were arrested, sent to prison, even in some cases killed. We don’t know where some of our relatives are today, they vanished. All those were forms of the struggle, it was not a gun that won the war.
It was a combination of various fights, some political, some even economic and of course the gun being the main form. So I would want to honour the majority of people.”
“I know some commanders, high ranking ones who lost. In Masvingo no one won. I don’t know what they were doing, the likes of (the late Josiah) Tungamirai didn’t win and yet he was the commander of the Air Force. It’s not just some war veterans who are capable of the kind of arrogance and pride I am talking about. We also have others who have intellectual arrogance.
They say we can’t chant party slogans, no. I got my PHD, I am a lecturer and professor at the university and no I can’t. That’s our people,” said President Mugabe.
He reiterated his denunciation of factionalism, tribalism, nepotism and corruption that he did at the opening of the conference on Friday.