Bob warns exiled pastor, berates rebel vets

28 July 2016 - 09:24 By Nhlalo Ndaba

President Robert Mugabe issued a stern warning to self-exiled #Thisflag movement founder Pastor Evan Mawarire at a public meeting which was broadcast live on state television. Mawarire moved to South Africa last week and his family joined him, because his and their safety back home cannot be guaranteed."Keep to your religious side. Zanu will not tolerate any nonsense. I am warning Mawarire. Have you finished the Bible?" Mugabe asked, emphasising that politics was for politicians.The 92-year-old leader had a meeting with former freedom fighters who support him, after another group of veterans called for his resignation.Thousands of Zimbabweans rallied in support of Mugabe just days after a splinter group of war veterans called him a corrupt dictator, highlighting the manoeuvring in the Zanu-PF leadership succession battle and anger about growing hardships.The veterans, who fought against white minority rule in former Rhodesia, turned on their commander last week, saying he had "devoured" the values of the liberation struggle. Government sources responded, saying their statement amounted to treason and they would be punished. Mugabe yesterday suggested their leadership should be changed."War vets should have a new congress. During the war we had rebels and we punished them," he recalled.Mugabe spoke after Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Mandy Chimene, a close ally of Grace Mugabe, renewed attacks on Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a divisive element in the party.Zanu-PF is facing its worst internal power struggle as two camps position themselves to take over when Mugabe quits.If Mugabe dies in office with no clear successor, analysts say Zimbabwe might descend into political chaos and violence. - Additional reporting by Reuters

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