THE Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWA) has fired one of its top members after he denounced President Mugabe for continuously holding on to power.
Maxwell Marange, who was the association’s chairman in Manicaland Province, chanted slogans denouncing Mugabe in 2007 at the Meikles Park in Mutare during a march organized to support the aging leader’s presidential candidacy in the 2008 elections
But Marange took everybody by surprise when he took to the podium and chanted: “Pasi naMugabe”!!! (Down with Mugabe).
Marange was among Zanu PF supporters who felt Mugabe was not the appropriate candidate to stands on behalf of Zanu PF in the 2008 harmonized poll.
He went on to lose to Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader but he refused to step down on the grounds the victor had not garnered the required 51 percent votes and therefore there was need for a run –off.
The run –off was marred by violence which forced Tsvangirai to drop out of the contest leaving Mugabe un-opposed. But the run- off was so discredited both at home and abroad forcing Mugabe into negotiations with Tsvangirai to form a unity government.
Marange was not available for comment but officials from the war veterans’ association confirmed the developments.
However, other war veterans are insisting he must be brought back saying when he denounced Mugabe he was merely expressing his own opinion.
“Marange was just saying what he thought was good for the party,” said a war veteran based in Mutare. “After all he was right because we saw what happened. We lost the election and by the grace of God we forced a run- off. It is not health for people to think that Mugabe is always right.”
But Ephraim Zibuke, the association’s vice-chairman in Mutare District said: “As the hosting district we wrote a report on the issue which we copied to Zanu PF provincial chairman, Provincial Intelligence Officer and secretary general ZNLWA Manicaland Province. We wonder whether those saying Marange should be reinstated are saying Marange was right.”
A report outlying Marange’s charge reads: “On arrival at the Meikles Park after the march from the Chiefs’ Hall, the hosting chairperson of the province was given the floor to address the gathering."
"Cde Marange chanted his slogan. In the process he was advised by the people in the gathering to raise his hand in the process of making his slogan. Cde Marange started afresh and in the process of his slogan he said ‘Down with the President’, a move which irked the gathering.”