War veterans form another grouping

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa

A NEW war veterans grouping, War Veterans Peace Initiative Forum (WVPI), has formally registered with the Registrar of Deeds and says it is ready to expand its activities in fighting political violence, as the country prepares for next year’s elections.

The organisation’s secretary for legal and security, Maxwell Takawira told NewsDay Weekender yesterday that the registration was completed last month and focus was now on the upcoming elections.

“We launch WVPI when the nation is already experiencing the fever for the 2018 plebiscite. The atmosphere is filled with anxiety and fear influenced by past electoral experiences,” he said.

“Citizens live under the threat of political violence causing them to fear expressing their real choice of those to lead them.
“This fear is not unfounded, as political leaders publicly utter threats of violence to intimidate the electorate with impunity aimed at forcing the citizens to vote against their will.”

Zimbabwe’s elections have been marred by violence, with war veterans often accused of taking a leading role.

The organisation pledged its loyalty to the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association executive led by Christopher Mutsvangwa, which was purportedly booted out and replaced by another led by Patrick Nyaruwata.

On supporting the Mutsvangwa executive, Takawira said no other legitimate war veterans’ association exists except the one led by those elected in Masvingo in 2014.

“We work under the association led by Chris Mutsvangwa. That is the substantive executive and the one led by Nyaruwata does not exist,” he said

“They lost their court case. We work with the legitimate one, but that doesn’t stop us from reaching to all war veterans despite political affiliation.”

The organisation said the culture of violence started during the liberation war and was inherited at independence.