Remove war vets from key government and decision making positions – Masarira

OPPOSITION LEAD party leader Linda Masarira has put the blame of the country’s current economic melt down squarly on war veterans, who she said are perrenialy involved in disastrous policy formulation processes.

Masarira also blamed veterans of the 1970s war of unnecessarily holding on to key government positions.

In an interview with Zim Morning Post on Tuesday, Masarira said war veterans had been blocking various opportunities meant for youths enhancement using their influence within Zanu PF.

The outspoken Masarira said the tragedy in Zimbabwe was the battle for hegemonic authority between war veterans and the youths.

“Since independence, war veterans have been honoured for bringing what they termed sanity in the politics of Zimbabwe and had remained in power for four decades,” Masarira said.

They benefitted farms and mining claims. Their children have gone to school on government funding,” she added.

The LEAD president explained that with unprecedented impunity in 2000, the war veterans unleashed terror and invaded white-owned farms, killing some in the process.

“These war veterans spearheaded violence, particularly against opposition members in rural, peri-urban and urban communities during political campaigns and election periods, propping up fear among the electorate,” she said.

Masarira said Zanu PF youths had been calling for political and economic space for their progression, but the war veterans had kept accusing the youths of “not following protocol or hierarchy”.

“Hierarchical protocol has always been an enemy of youths’ progression. It simply destroyed and weakened youth structures. The youths have always been told to wait for guidance from these war veterans who are are viewed as the elders,” she said.

Masarira gave reference to the July 21, 2016 meeting between war veterans and the late former President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe was accused by the war veterans of entertaining youths allegedly used by former First Lady Grace Mugabe, Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere, whose intentions were to take away war veterans’ farms, cut all their allowances and benefits,” she said.

Forty years after independence, most of these war veterans have remained active in the party and government. They have enriched themselves, their sons, daughters and grandchildren. They are positioned in critical points of power, holding high posts and ranks, particularly in security sectors,” Masarira said.

Zanu PF is a baby of war veterans, whether we like it or not. It is a fact that they have been instrumental in policy-related issues for over 40 years. Thus we are here,” she said.

“They have held control of the mining sector for long. The veterans have kept the party afloat by any means possible, even through funding party activities, upbringing of blood sucking cults like Alshabab and Top six, among others, so as to maintain fear among all Zimbabweans,” Masarira told this publication.

“Through corruption, these war veterans have assumed control of government programmes and community-related developments,” she said, adding that Zimbabweans had only learnt how dangerous the war veterans are.

“It is time to stop being used by the elders; it is time for convergence and mapping the way forward for Zimbabwe’s development,” Masarira said.

War veterans boss has said Victor Matemadanda war veterans would remain an important part in nation-building, emphasising that they (war veterans) had brought liberation to the country.