ZAPU leader, Dumiso Dabengwa, has hailed the decision by Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) ex-combatants to sever ties with the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA), saying the move was necessary to preserve the distinct integrity of the liberation war fighters.
Zipra ex-combatants quit the ZNLWVA in March this year to launch their own independent welfare association, accusing the latter of expending its resources fighting Zanu PF succession wars, instead of addressing the well-fare of its members.
Dabengwa said the Zipra ex-combatants needed their own independent welfare association to ensure the liberation war fighters were not abused and used by selfish politicians.
“For my part, I think veterans of the liberation struggle, who fought under the auspices of Zapu need an association that retains their distinct values and vision of a liberated country that is not driven by egos of individual leaders and exclusive interests,” he said in a speech read on his behalf by Zapu Matabeleland South chairperson, Matthew Sibanda at a rally on Saturday in Insiza.
“More to the point, veterans should not be used and dumped like used tissue paper or used as tongs for rescuing corrupt and compromised, self-serving politicians.
“Furthermore, their record must not be used to manufacture fake heroes declared for political loyalty and not what they have done. It is not too late to salvage the integrity of what we fought for.”
Dabengwa said Zapu was willing to forge a coalition pact with other opposition parties to dislodge President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF in the 2018 polls.
“That is why Zapu was among the parties that drew up the framework for the Coalition of Democrats (Code),” he said.
“We, therefore, remain committed to the principle of a united front, whether it is a coalition, alliance or pact. United we stand, divided we fall.”
Despite drawing up the Code framework, Zapu did not sign the document, which some believe was a precursor to a coalition.