Mutoko is in Mashonaland east, a stronghold area for Mugabe’s Zanu PF.
“There are many of us who are fed up with the system but are afraid that if they join ranks with the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change ) then they will lose all they get from Mugabe such as land,” said a spokesperson of a group of war vets who say they are now facing persecution because they want to break free, Misheck Nyakudanga.
According to Nyakudanga over a 100 bona fide war veterans in Mutoko and Murewa are fed up of the system of violence but are unable to untangle themselves from Mugabe’s shrewd bondage.
“What we want as war veterans is a platform that will guarantee our safety from Zanu PF, we are sick and tired of the intimidation in
rural areas,” said Nyakudanga.
This comes hardly a few days when a Masvingo man, claiming to be a central intelligence officer, Innocent Makamure said he felt used by the Mugabe government and publicly apologised to villagers in his home area in Buhera for taking a role in state sponsored violence that resulted in some MDC activists beaten, tortured, harrassed and killed.
Nyakudanga said this group of war vets in Mutoko that had refused to denounce and persecute MDC supporters in the bloody 2008 Presidential Election run-off had their war benefits withdrawn, which include pension funds and education assistance for children.
“We were called up and told that we should denounce the MDC. …some of us refused because we believed in the freedom of choice,” he said.
According to Nyakudanga several war veterans were taken to Warwick Building, a Harare Office of the Central Intelligence and threatened in a typical CIO fashion to be thrown through the windows of a tenth floor building.
“We were summoned several times to Kangaroo Courts for re-vetting, some of us we were declared that we never participated in the war of liberation, even though I benefited from the Zd 50 000 grants that were given to war veterans in 1997 and my membership number was 3545-08,” he said.
Many war veterans in the area who faced the racist regime of Ian Smith, have vowed that they will no longer be used by Mugabe to perpetuate his stronghold on the nation for 30 years, said Nyakudanga.
Contrary to widespread belief that Mugabe is helping in the welfare of war veterans, the former freedom fighters in Mutoko say they are
in fact living as paupers.