POLICE have finally allowed war veterans to meet in Harare for their indaba meant to discuss Zimbabwe’s deteriorating economic, social and political crisis.
Source: Police okay war vets indaba – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 7, 2017
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The meeting comes as a follow-up to a whirlwind tour of the country which the leadership of the former fighters undertook last year after their fall-out with President Robert Mugabe, the release of a damning communiqué and arrest of leading figures in the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA).
ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said police gave them the green light yesterday and war veterans, government and Zanu PF officials were expected to attend.
“They (police) have allowed us to do it, but what they want are details of the conveners, so we are inviting all the war veterans who are supposed to come,” he said.
Mahiya said they would critically analyse fulfilment of what was agreed at their last meeting with Mugabe, pointing out that there had been little movement so far.
Mugabe, following the meeting with war veterans on April 7 last year, promised to attend to their grievances, among them loss of land, payment of medication and school fees.
The former fighters also want the identification of fallen war veterans so that they are reburied in accordance with their culture.
Mahiya added that the meeting would interrogate the reasons war veterans were being expelled from the ruling Zanu PF party.
“War veterans are now being rendered irrelevant and we want to look into that considering that we have served the party for more than 60 years. It’s not practical to say they have expelled us from the party.
“We have never been expelled and nobody has that capacity to expel a war veteran who is the bedrock of the party. The constitution of the party is very clear unless one is illiterate; the constitution says war veterans are the bedrock of the party. In other words, there are no ways you can maintain the upper part of a room when they have destroyed the foundation,” Mahiya said.
He described war veterans as people’s soldiers who must guard against societal ills such as corruption and tribalism.
“Remember Zanla and Zipra (liberation war forces linked to nationalist movements Zanu and Zapu) are a force that came into being as a result of the citizens’ initiative. It’s the people who built that force, so we represent those people because we are their soldiers. The country is defended by its soldiers and we are the soldiers of the masses. We defend the masses who are struggling as we speak. There is unemployment, corruption, tribalism, among others,” Mahiya said, indicating recent reports attributed to the Zanu PF youth league that “only someone with Mugabe’s surname should rule will be looked into”.