By A Correspondent- Arrested War veterans and members of the War Veterans’ Welfare Pressure Group (WVWPG) have distanced themselves from Zanu PF.
The former liberation war fighters said they were not concerned about the ruling party’s affairs.
Forty (40) ex-combatants who are WVWPG members were arrested on Tuesday in Harare for protesting against the $16 000 per month pension stipends they are currently getting.
They were taken to various police stations in Harare and charged with inciting public violence.
They are being represented by Tinashe Chinopfukutwa, Paida Saurombe and Blessing Nyamaropa of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
WVWPG chairperson Amos Sigauke said the heroes of the armed liberation struggle were disappointed with ZANU PF’s lack of concern for their welfare and henceforth, their “political marriage” with the ruling party was over. Said Sigauke:
We are not attending [the ZANU PF Annual People’s Conference currently underway in Bindura] because we are not ZANU PF. We have nothing to do with ZANU PF. We are not involved in ZANU PF politics.
We are not even a ZANU PF faction. ZANU PF has its own problems, which we are not concerned with.
If there is anyone among us who wants to attend the ZANU PF rally, they can go in their own capacity.
We are not concerned about their affairs. What we are concerned with is for government to consider our plight and review our monthly earnings.
If government addresses our concerns, then you will not see us here.
Meanwhile, ZANU PF acting spokesperson Mike Bimha said members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) were part of the party conference underway in Bindura. Said Bimha:
The war veterans that were allegedly protesting in town are just a few individuals with their own views detached from the position of the association which is affiliated with our party.
The ZNLWVA is the latest wing that joined to form our party and we are working well with them.
If there were issues with regards to the members’ affiliation to the party, the chairperson Comrade Mutsvangwa would have notified us.
So far, there are no complaints as far as membership of the war veterans in ZANU PF is concerned. War veterans are part of the proceedings of the conference underway.