War vets bay for Rugeje’s head


PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is today expected to square off with angry war veterans, who are bitter about their poor showing in the recently held Zanu PF primaries, as well as their perceived continued neglect.

An estimated 8 000 veterans of the liberation struggle are expected to gather at the City Sports Centre in Harare for their inaugural meeting with Mnangagwa, whose rise to the presidium they helped to engineer with the support of the military.

A senior official, who requested anonymity, said although they will discuss their welfare, the major issue will be on the perceived sidelining of the former freedom fighters.

The official said war veterans were not happy with Zanu PF leadership because the party made regulations that govern the conduct of primary elections.

The source said in those regulations, war veterans were made to go through primary elections with wealthy people, who used their resources to elbow them out of the race.

“At first instance, it looked very good, but what we didn’t know or what we later discovered is that the war veterans were then disenfranchised and put into the race with people who have got money from the land that the war veterans fought for,” a senior Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association official said.

“Throughout the whole country, many war veterans lost the elections including the chairman (Christopher) Mutsvangwa because he doesn’t have money to give out to people.
“The idea is not that he doesn’t have the political material to serve the people, but the fact that we don’t have money to give out like what other candidates were doing.”

The official added: “We don’t know why the commissariat made us wrestle with people with resources more than we have and yet we were supposed to be given a quota and go straight to the elections.”

Others accused the Zanu PF leadership of throwing out their CVs during the build up to the primary elections.

Zanu PF reportedly had a quota of seats reserved for war veterans, but they were left frothing in anger, accusing party national commissar Engelbert Rugeje (pictured) of failing to conduct the internal elections in a free, fair and credible manner.

The party has called for re-runs in some constituencies, including Norton and Harare South, where war veterans’ leaders were vying to represent the party.

War veteran’s spokesperson Douglas Mahiya yesterday confirmed the meeting, but was coy on the acrimonious relationship developing between war veterans on one

side and other party leaders, including Rugeje, on the other.

He said they will push for fulfilment of the United Nations’ Demobilisation, Disarmament, Reintegration and Reinsertion programme.

“There is what is called Demobilisation, Disarmament, Reintegration and Reinsertion, an international programme that is usually implemented after every war,” Mahiya said.

“The idea of the programme, which is administered by the United Nations, is meant to address the social and economic situations of those who would have participated in the war.”

He said most countries that have gone to war have gone through this process.

Mahiya said demobilisation and disarmament were done very satisfactorily soon after the war as exemplified by the peaceful environment prevailing in the country.

“Reintegration calls for skills training and provision of education, upgrading the general living conditions of those who would have been fighting and in this country that was not done and this is why you find war veterans with no means of survival,” he said. “Of course, there were some who went to school and some didn’t because they had no capacity to do that. This reintegration process was not done or if it was done it was done so haphazardly.

“Many war veterans are displaced during the war and this is where reinsertion comes into place. The war veterans have to be settled and live harmoniously in a society with other people. This was not done in this country and this is why war veterans are as poor as church mouse in this country.”

Mahiya said as long as these things are not addressed, the war veterans would continue pressing.


  1. War veterans will continue to suffer as long as zanu pf remains in power. they are squarely responsible for the mess in the country because they have been in charge of govt depts and parastatals. patronage was used in such appointments and they are their own devils. some of them were mere refugees during the war. moreover, the struggle involved everyone and those at home were even more active and more vulnerable. the comrades used to sing ‘gandanga haridye derere” vachipedza huku nezvipfuyo zvedu but now they pretend to have liberated us single handedly. they need to be reminded that they are past their sell by date, they have since expired. zanu pf can field them at its risk becoz the generation 40 is now very serious,

  2. its very pathetic that these guys ,deem themselves as the most crucial and potential candidates to rule the country,they look down upon all those who didnt go to war.So were they expect to contest with poor people?thier grivience is baised.also they have to note that its not mnangagwa who determine who contest with who. any one can chose the area which he or she once to lead.Again you have to know, you war verts you caused death of many people in rural areas in 2008, yet they are many ophans and widows in roots. Do you think those people can vote for you? you kill, torture,persecute, yet you want same people to vote for you. you are your own enemies shame to you.its not all about wealthy people you contest with, but its all about strategy.

    you killed our fathers only because they vote MDC, is that a crime. can a person forced to vote someone he or she doesnt want? if you are to suffer its because of your previous acts.

  3. The brainless warvets should continue to suffer. Why would we trust our future in the hands of grandfathers. You time was long overdue and you still have the dreams of leading the young generation. This is how Zanu Pf is killing the party. Rugeje thumps up for you because you did the right thing. Remember parliament is not meant to employ the unrepentant war vets. Leave it to the people to determine who should represent them rather than imposing candidates to constituencies.You time is over and just accept that. The young generation is refusing all this nonsense.

  4. Sounding like cry babies. War vets still think they are very special. They have immensely contributed to the county’s economic woos through their blind loyalty to the master of destruction, ZANU PF. They benefited from many state programs ranging from land resettlement, compensation funds, demobilization exercises, farms, housing schemes, pensions, education, skills training among many others, yet they still cry foul. For how long should this be going on?

  5. AnaMahiya nanaMutsvangwa you were beaten hands down, fair and square! just shut up you think you are indispensable nxaaaaaa

  6. War Veterans should know that they are not sacred cows. They have this mentality in which they think that they are better citizens than the rest of all Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe was freed by all Zimbabweans during the years of the struggle. Kana vakundwa kuma Primaries thats it. Ndiyo democracy yacho. The moment you begin to give them special treatment then hapachina democracy. Chris Mutsvangwa and the lot should be made to understand this. If people in the party dont want to vote for them, so be it. Who the hell do they think they are? These War Vets are now holding the nation at ransom. Its time they be put in their proper place where every Zimbabwean belongs.

  7. Those were free and fair elections. These people calling themselves WARVETS are a serious problem to this country. It is a clear message to them people are tired of stupid liberation war stories which resulted in the suffering of people. Well done to those who vote against warvets. They made Zimbabwe poor like them. I doubt that we still have 8000 warvets these are just fake group of people who used to benefit during the dictator era.

  8. I have long remained in the dark on the parameters surrounding a genuine war vet. A wo/man who was active in the ’70s fighting Smith and still has the political muscle to lead in this digital era -over 40 years down the line. It sounds selfish to be sincere.

  9. Mahiya – Re-Intergration was not possible after you and your team destroyed the very infrastructure (schools) that was needed for it to succeed. Mahiya, Re-Insertion was also difficulty after your terrorising and killing of villagers who would have welcomed you back in their communities. You made your cake and tried to eat it

  10. you lost because you are useless, all you have is history and that is where you belong.To us, we see a Zimbabwean and not a war vet or whetever.

  11. Tell war Veterans that what goes around comes around. we will actually celebrate to note that War Vets have been sidelined in the governance of our great Nation as they are responsible for this terrible mess we find ourselves within together with their father Robert.

    Gone are favours you used to get we are all human beings and deserve an equal share as much as you.

  12. Haa warvets please!!!!!!!!!!

    Some of you joined the war for 2 or three years and have had all these years to develop yourselves and you couldn’t or wouldn’t, yet you blame it on Government, worse still, you think you can lead and develop your constituencies.

    Honestly guys, governing is not a feast where you just present yourself and enjoy

  13. Douglas Mahiya you are speaking very well, but why raise these issues after 38 years? Besides, regarding the primary elections, you guys went in with the full knowledge of what was happening. Why cry fowl now after the event? You are now admitting that in Zanu PF there is unabated vote buying, so how much at national level? While I would agree with a quota for war veterans, this quota should not come from contested seats, but from the various special presentation groups that are there. For instance, quotas for chiefs, women and special needs groups should be reduced to accommodate the war veterans. That would be a credible provision as a special presentation group.

  14. What happened to the $50 000 or the land that every war vet was given, some used the cash as a staring point to generate wealth and they are filthy rich now others drank beer, produced nothing from the land and were into prostitution so they are now poorer. Even if the government was going to give them a million USD today give them a month they will be broke and poorest. War veterans must use the land to generate wealth not asking for freebies every day

  15. old guards endai kunozorora kumba mtambe nevazukuru hamuna chamuchagona chamunoda kuchemera apa. Go hang inga makbvisa sekuru apa november bvumaiwo kuenda, period!!!1

  16. Frankly these must be the most lazy, brainless & generally useless war vets in the whole world

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