15 February 2016

Zimbabwe: Enjoy the Fruits of Our Bloodshed but Don't Abuse Us, War Vets Tell Grace Mugabe and Her Allies - VP Mphoko Attacked Over Hotel Stay

Photo: The Herald
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association national chair and War Veterans Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa flanked by secretary-general Cde Victor Matemadanda and Cde Douglas Mahiya secretary for Information and Publicity at a meeting in Harare

WAR veterans' leaders axed last week came out guns blazing Monday, rejecting their dismissals and lambasting vice president Phelekezela Mphoko who has lived in hotel at government expense for more than a year.

"Zimbabweans are suffering; we did not go to the war and sacrifice our lives so that leaders come back and live in luxury while the masses struggle," said Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veteran Association (ZNLWVA) secretary general Victor Matemadanda at a press conference in Harare.

Clearly targeting Mphoko, Matemadanda added: "Today you are sitting pretty and behaving like a spoilt child to the extent of rejecting houses bought for you by government, demanding a mansion instead."

Matemadanda and ZNLWVA chairman Chris Mutsvangwa were axed last week by a faction linked to the G40 Zanu PF group backing First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed her 92-year-old husband.

The G40 group, backed by Mphoko, is determined to stop vice president (VP) Emmerson Mnangagwa taking over.

Matemadanda and Mutsvangwa were hounded out for backing the VP and publicly attacking G40 ministers.

Prior to the war veteran leader's sackings, Grace staged a rally at Chiweshe where she savagely attacked Mnangagwa.

The rally followed a politburo meeting in Harare where the First Lady and her allies brought the capital thousands of supporters and used the stage to again hit out at Mnangagwa.

But Matemadanda said ruling party legislator Sarah Mahoka who warned Mnangagwa he risked a nasty death had been paid $50 to stage the stunt.

"A real war veteran shouting a slogan as if you will break your lips just to please someone who transferred $50 to your mobile phone through EcoCash.

"Now you are ignoring the suffering that you went through during the liberation struggle because of those peanuts," charged Matemadanda.

His speech was punctuated by shouts of 'Sarah Mahoka! Sarah Mahoka!' from other war veterans at the press conference.

"So we were stupid and dull to go to war? Just enjoy our sacrifice without scolding us," he said.

"It is the time now to tell Zimbabweans what is really going on in the ruling party as there is a lot of lip service to the suffering of the masses while some people are being rewarded for corrupt activities."

Matemadanda said Grace and her allies were welcome to enjoy the fruits of the thousands who fought to liberate Zimbabwe but should be careful not to demonise the former fighters.

"You are enjoying the good life and eating good food.

"You are so lucky to be where you are today; leave us alone wallowing in poverty," he said to shouts of 'Grace! Grace! Grace!' from other war veterans.

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