Citizens urge war veterans to advocate for government accountability

Some Zimbabweans have called on war veterans to champion government transparency and accountability instead of pushing for cabinet positions.

This follows recent reports of war veterans urging President Mnangagwa to include them in his cabinet.

Participants on This Morning on Asakhe, CITE’s daily X-space, argued that the time for war veterans to make demands has passed.

A participant James said their focus should be on advocating for transparency.

“The real benefits came in 1999 with the one-time financial payout,” James stated. “Those were the proper benefits they received. However, ultimately, I think it also boils down to the greed of those who are currently demanding more. We must remember that they are the ones who caused the collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar by pressuring the government, which then embarked on the land reform program for their benefit.”

James continued, “Some of them believe they are entitled to government positions. I believe everything has its time, and their time for constant demands has passed. They could instead demand accountability within the ruling party. That’s what they should be advocating for – to say, ‘We demand transparency in specific projects, accountability, and proper execution.'”

James further noted that most war veterans are elderly and simply seeking positions. “These are the demands they should be leading the charge on,” he emphasised. “They should be making noise about why this is happening in the country we fought for. Some are genuinely concerned and those simply eyeing positions. The majority are in their 70s and 80s. That’s greed. We need to start urging them to advocate for accountability.”

Another participant, Njabulo, added that the principles of independence included inclusivity without segregation.

“They are taking us back to the Smith regime that only sought to include whites,” he said. “They are carrying the same attitude into independent Zimbabwe by saying only they deserve to be appointed or become MPs.”

Njabulo criticised war veterans for not fighting for the future generation.

“These individuals aren’t even trying to demand accountability from the government,” he said. “They’re simply saying, ‘Appoint us and let us benefit.’ This shows there are undisciplined ZANU-PF members. This is why Zimbabwe is in this state – because of a political party. It’s problematic because they’re not advocating for the country’s development but for their inclusion.”

Another participant, Alberto, echoed these sentiments, suggesting war veterans fought only for personal gain. “They wouldn’t bring any valuable input to the cabinet,” he stated. “They’re only interested in the loans given to MPs. They know they won’t spend them, but they’re doing it for their children – which is wrong. Every leader should be chosen based on ideas, not self-interest.”

Another speaker, Thobekile, argued that war veterans are out of touch with global developments.

“How long will the country be held hostage by those who fought for us?” she asked. “We are grateful, but now is the time to move forward. What innovative ideas can they bring? We need future-oriented leaders who are in touch with modern society, technology, and global trends.”

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