Harare – Zimbabwean war veterans across the political divide are allegedly ganging up against President Robert Mugabe, 92, to force him to tell them where he is "taking the southern African country", a report said on Tuesday.
According to NewsDay, Bernard Manyadza, a former Zanla commander and senior member of the recently formed Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF), believed that the war veterans had to work together in order to oust the nonagenarian.
Manyadza said that war veterans across the political divide should be ready to work together in order "get rid of Mugabe".
This came after Mugabe issued a "strong warning" to the former freedom fighters last Thursday, saying that his ruling Zanu-PF party would not be held to "ransom" by what he described as "dissidents".
This was after the war veterans said that they had endorsed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to take over from the ailing veteran leader.
The former freedom fighters claimed that Mnangagwa was the next in line to take over the presidency, adding that their decision to endorse him was "irreversible".
They also allegedly threatened bloodshed should Mnangagwa's bid to succeed Mugabe fail.
However, Mugabe warned the war veterans, saying they must "tread" carefully as he would react with brutal force against "dissidents".
Mugabe reminded the former liberation fighters of one of the country's most brutal genocides after independence, saying that he would not hesitate to once more crush "rebellion".
At least 20 000 civilians were killed in the Matabeleland and Midlands regions in the 1980s following the deployment of the North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade, allegedly to "thwart a dissident movement" in a genocide now commonly referred to as Gukurahundi.
Close sources to the developments revealed that the threats made by Mugabe had stirred up a "hornet's nest".
An unnamed former freedom fighter was quoted as saying that Mugabe was trying to avoid the discussion around his succession.
"...It is astounding that this man wants to circumvent the laws of nature in which naturally people plan for tomorrow and wants us to just sit and watch him die in office without a plan as to what will happen tomorrow. It does not work, like that," the unnamed ex-freedom fighters was quoted as saying.
- News 24