After independence, the people of Zimbabwe noted with concern, shock and dismay the systematic entrenchment of dictatorial tendencies, personified by the President and his cohorts, which slowly devoured the values of the liberation struggle in utter disregard of any existing Constitution.
Who could have said this?
For 35 years, we all witnessed how Robert Mugabe neglected and abandoned the people.
But only just last month, so-called war veterans finally admitted that the people who were being neglected were the actual backbone of the war of liberation.
Unbelievably, they meant us, the ‘common people’, yet we knew it before, during and after the war.
In their daring communique directed at their old ally Mugabe, the war veterans said the very same things that the people of Zimbabwe have known for decades.
It was these so-called war veterans themselves who made our situation worse by supporting Mugabe at those times that we needed them most.
It was the war veterans who killed our fellow citizens, threatened our judiciary and beat up villagers in support of Mugabe.
It was the war veterans who protected rigged elections in favour of Mugabe and it was them who demanded and received huge payouts, pushing Zimbabwe into fiscal problems that destroyed our economy and which still persist to this day.
The war veterans killed the very same people who helped them liberate the country. On Mugabe’s behalf, they killed fellow citizen farmers to take over properties.
They fought for ‘one man, one vote’ then stuffed ballot boxes with extra pre-marked ballots; they fought for the people to make their own choices then forced us to vote for Mugabe or risk our homes being razed to the ground.
They fought for the individuals’ freedom of expression, association and hope only to take it all away for their self-serving reasons.
The war veterans want people to be free as long as they can control them. They have killed so many of our people after independence.
Now Mugabe does not need them anymore because they compromised their worthiness among the people.
Mugabe used them to destroy themselves; now, they are suddenly awake with no real friends on either side.
Were it not because of the war veterans, Zimbabwe could never have landed in the situation it is in now.
I do declare that the war veterans are a bunch of malcontents against our people; they are failures even within the “rewards” they demanded and received from Mugabe against advice from economists.
The war veterans helped Mugabe destroy the country but now that there is not enough to share between the Mugabe family and the war veterans, we hear from them.
They are now being arrested and brought to court one by one. The farms they received in violent takeovers are now being invaded and repossessed “by dozens of youths believed to be linked to ZANU-PF”.
When the first war veteran’s leader to be arrested was brought to court two weeks ago, multitudes of people showed up at the court to offer support. How did war veterans feel when they saw thousands of the very people they have been terrorizing for 35 years showing up to support them at court?
“We note with concern, shock and dismay the systematic entrenchment of dictatorial tendencies, personified by the President and his cohorts, which have slowly devoured the values of the liberation struggle in utter disregard of the Constitution as demonstrated by…the deliberate neglect and abandonment by (Mugabe) of the masses, who are the foundation upon which the liberation war was fought and won,” said the war veterans in the fateful communique now causing their arrests.
Have they finally come to their senses?
Are they aware that it was them who destroyed the political and economic independence of Zimbabwe because they thought, as they do now, that they are better and more deserving than any other Zimbabwean?
They are bitter, not because they care about Zimbabweans; they are bitter because they are being side-lined by Grace Mugabe who was not even born in Zimbabwe but who now threatens their continued feasting on national coffers.
Grace Mugabe is a threat to war veterans and now they come to life against Mugabe himself because their welfare has been eroded and can no longer be guaranteed.
I do not trust the so-called war veterans because, since independence, they were never part of us. They have always supported our oppressor and demanded payment which was granted to them out of our pockets.
For the first time in 35 years, the war veterans boycotted the annual Heroes Day Commemorations two weeks ago.
“It is no longer a day for us to celebrate because there is nothing to celebrate anymore,” said Douglas Mahiya, a war veterans’ spokesperson out on bail for now opposing Mugabe.
Why? Is it that they are not getting any more money or that they feel sorry for continuous abuse of people?
I welcome the war veterans to a reality that we have known and painfully lived with for 35 years.
It is my hope that they stop this mercenary attitude of theirs. Without the people, no political leader can survive.
Without the people, no cause can be won.
Only the people can honour and respect a war veteran, not an Act of Parliament or the whims of a foolish president.
These so-called war veterans should stop this rubbish of double dipping; they must be real. It seems to me that they are more of mercenaries than repentant liberators.
On one hand, they want support from the people they have betrayed over the years and, on another, they want to stay within the group that betrays the people because the war veterans benefit from the misery of the people.
War veterans are so unrepentant that they, once again, want to choose a president for us. These particular members want Emerson Mnangagwa, one of Mugabe’s two vice presidents, to succeed Mugabe.
To the war veterans, I say: ‘You fought for the people so as for them to make their own choices. Don’t fight your battles in an effort to give us Mnangagwa, Grace Mugabe, Tsvangirai or anybody. Stop it!
Veterans do it for country and for the people, not for themselves.’