SOME war veterans aligned to Zanu PF have dumped the Christopher Mutsvangwa led Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association (ZLWVA) claiming the partisan welfare group was now firmly in the pocket of the ruling party to a point of failing to see the shortfalls of the country’s leaders.
The former liberators announced their breakaway from the mainstream association at a press conference in Harare Monday.
According to the group, the new association will play a watchdog role on the Zanu PF led government.
Liberation war historian and ZLWVA secretary for education, Zvakanyorwa Sadomba said the bold move to dump the mainstream group was not new in the history of national politics.
He cited the Mgagao Declaration of 1975 that rattled the party leadership in the middle of a bitter liberation struggle.
“Our relationship can reach antagonistic stages where, as war veterans, we might feel the interests of the nation might be a threat and we begin to oppose very vehemently, the political leadership and interests of political parties.
“That has always been happening; the relationship between nationalists and war veterans has always been like that.
“In 1975, we did the same through the Mgagao Declaration when, as fighters, we disowned both the party’s leadership for their neglect of values we cherished during the war,” he said.
Form left to right: Zvakanyorwa Sadomba, Karen-Kazingisi and Abraham Tsikwa who have broken away from the mainstream war veterans group
Sadomba was however quick to say there was no animosity between the breakaway group, Mutsvangwa himself and President Emmerson Mnangagwa whom they said they hoped will take their decision well.
Another member of the new faction, Karen Kazingizi bemoaned how their reputation as the country’s liberators was now tainted by cases of gross human rights violations committed to please politicians.
“Those who are implicated in 2008 cases where they would cut hands and arms of people should be brought before courts because that is not what we trained for and they know it.
“We did not remove a corrupt and racist regime to place a similar one,” said Kazingizi.
Zimbabwe’s once respected liberators aligned to Zanu PF, have, in the past two decades, been championing Zanu PF partisan activities in which they have been heavily involved in alleged murder, rape, arson and theft, among other transgressions, targeting opposition MDC supporters.
Most of the cases have gone unpunished by the Zanu PF led government.
She added, “We argued as commissars that we, as those who were trained, also wanted to be part of the party and run in by-elections to stand for the party.
“There are now a lot of comrades who are bemoaning corruption and rigging that riddled the process and shut them out.
“Some continue to fear party disciplinary actions if they are heard to be expressing sentiments such as the ones I am expressing where they will waste your time deciding whether you are a sell-out or not.”