Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader Joice Mujuru yesterday condemned what she called government’s poor treatment of war veterans, who were early this year teargased by police for trying to demonstrate against First Lady Grace Mugabe.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Mugabe and his wife have on numerous occasions attacked war veterans over their alleged involvement in Zanu PF factional wars.
The 92-year-old ruler recently described war veterans as dissidents, threatening to deal with them in a similar manner he crushed an alleged uprising in Midlands and Matabeleland soon after independence.
Mujuru, who repeatedly told her supporters that ZimPF was a unique and diverse party, condemned the violence meted on freedom fighters.
“Youths are being taught the culture of disrespecting the war veterans. We expected that by this time they would be enjoying their pensions; they went through a lot during the war,” she said yesterday while addressing a rally in Harare.
“The majority are struggling and were not fortunate enough to get gainful employment as some of us did.
“They are the ones who were attacked with water cannons and assaulted by youths. That is so bad, especially in a country that was freed by these people.”
She said the culture of violence should stop and urged government to open platforms for dialogue whenever there were disputes.
Mujuru said it was painful to see freedom fighters being denied a chance to air their views, saying without dialogue, there was no democracy.
She said everyone should be equal in line with the Constitution and called for the culture of impunity to end in order to address issues such as the rampant corruption in the country.
Mujuru said even if they were formerly Zanu PF, they had cut ties with the “ruinous” ruling party.
ZimPF secretary for mobilisation and former Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire took aim at Mugabe and Grace, whom he described as the “Marujata” character in a local novel, because of her divisive speeches.
Mavhaire also blasted Grace over her remarks that Mugabe will rule the country from the grave.