Critics Say Mugabe, War Vets Meeting Non-Event

HARARE — Zimbabwe’s war veterans held a meeting with President Mugabe today and made several demands including a call for the president to allocate more ministerial posts to former freedom fighters.


Such demands come at a time when Zimbabweans expected the war veterans to ask the president to rest after almost 36 years in power. But this issue was raised at all as the former freedom fighters mainly focused on their welfare and related matters.

It is fair for former freedom fighters to press for more ministerial positions from a ruling party riddled with factionalism?

One of the factions, comprising mostly of people who did not physically take part in the liberation struggle, is believed to backing First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband.

The other faction is allegedly led by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa calling itself Team Lacoste.

For perspective, Studio 7 reached Zanu PF activist Gadzira Chirumanzu and political commentator Charles Mutasa. Chirumanzi said war veterans are happy about the outcome of the meeting.

He said by agreeing to meet the war veterans once a year, the president paved the way for long-lasting relations with the former freedom fighters.

“In short I can say everybody was more than happy about the outcome of the meeting.”

But Mutasa said, “I don’t think so (merely) meeting does not constitute happiness … Everybody knows that these people have been complaining about the same issue they raised today and there is no measurement that they were happy because they were able to meet their patron and talk to him.”

Chirumanzu dismissed suggestions that the war veterans want almost all ministerial positions.

He also noted that it was not true that the war veterans wanted President Mugabe to step down. “It is only the imagination of those who do not know how Zanu PF works.”

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