Story by Rufaro Mufundirwa
The headline in the Dailynews issue of 13 April was quite misleading. If it were the 1st of April, it was going to be the first article to be identified as the traditional prank usually associated with the fool’s day.
“War vets want Mugabe to go,” screamed the front page headline. Going through the whole story, it was just one person rumbling. It was clear that he was not speaking on behalf of other war veterans for he does not belong to any organization. The Dailynews just pluralized everything to give weight to its story. It was one of those sensational stories meant to increase sales. Manyadza is not war veterans and war veterans are not Manyadza.
The person who wants President Mugabe to go is just an individual who lost his bearing a long time ago. Bernard Manyadza whose war time nom de plume was Parker Chipoyera, is in the history for wrong reasons. He is one of the freedom fighters who rebelled against the revolution. He was part of the Vashandi group who revolted against Zanu leadership and ended up in prison.
Unfortunately, Manyadza is an unrepentant rebel. Some of his accomplices have since repented and were re-admitted into the system with some of them occupying high positions in government today. By taking Manyadza as an authority, the Dailynews risks discrediting itself. What else could be expected from disgruntled people like Manyadza.
Obviously Manyadza and the like minded wanted to see chaos during the President’s meeting with the war veterans. They had their expected outcomes which did not come as such. President Mugabe had a successful and fruitful meeting with the bonafide war veterans. He promised to address the grievances that the war veterans raised. The war veterans themselves were very excited by the commitment their patron showed in addressing their concerns. Therefore, one wonders which war veterans want President Mugabe to go.
Manyadza claimed that it was his group that put President Mugabe into power through the Mgagao document that denounced the then Zanu leader, Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole. Let us give him the benefit of the doubt and take it as he said. However, the document had many other signatures that endorsed the decision. If that mandate is to be withdrawn, Manyadza must have all those people append their signatures again to withdraw the mandate that they claim to have given President Mugabe. He must even raise those who died to endorse that decision. It remains an invalid decision if it does not carry those signatures. Manyadza cannot pretend to represent everyone.
He must also be reminded that the Mgagao declaration process has since been replaced by a more democratic and modern system of election. President Mugabe was elected in 1980 by the majority of Zimbabweans to rule Zimbabwe. He subsequently got endorsements in the successive elections to rule Zimbabwe, the latest being 2013. He is still midway through his term. It is the electorate which has the mandate to tell President Mugabe to go. The President himself is on record saying that if people told him to go, he would definitely do so. President Mugabe does not elect himself. If there are some people who think that President Mugabe must go, they must wait for 2018 to express their wish through the ballot.