Zimbabwe: Youth League Backs Renaming of RGM Airport

Before and after Harare International Airport was renamed Robert Mugabe Mugabe Airport (file photo).
24 August 2018

THE Zanu-PF Youth League has said it supports the call by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) to have Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare renamed.

The war veterans on Tuesday said the former President was no longer fit to have the airport named after him because the name Robert Gabriel Mugabe will be remembered for a leader who gave up his flock to ravens as "he is a last-minute traitor".

They said they would soon submit a petition to Government over the matter.

In an interview, the Zanu-PF Youth League secretary, Cde Pupurai Togarepi, said they are rallying behind the decision of their elders.

"The airport had a name before it was named Robert Mugabe and when it suited us, we changed it. In the same vein it is our prerogative as a nation to rename the same airport as we wish," he said.

"Zimbabwe is not Robert Mugabe's kingdom, but belongs to Zimbabweans, therefore we support the decision made by our elders without any hesitation or regrets."

Cde Togarepi said if the Government agrees to the name-change, they would prefer a name that promotes the image of Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, the Children of Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association said they shared the same sentiments with their parents.

"Mugabe betrayed the struggle and that airport is the tourism face of Zimbabwe. Having it named after the name of a traitor is unacceptable. We strongly feel that should have been done as soon as he chose to betray the struggle," said CZNLWVA secretary-general Cde John Muchenje.

"Mugabe and family can't hold Zimbabwe at ransom. They don't have title deeds of the country, hence we need to take the nation further without the shadows of people who let us down hovering around us."

The airport, formerly Harare International Airport, was renamed after the former President following recommendations by the then Zanu-PF Youth League led by Kudzanayi Chipanga.

The name was changed in November last year, a week before Mr Mugabe's resignation.

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