‘Betrayed’ ZPRA veterans say backing MDC Alliance leader

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By Pamenus Tuso

ZIPRA has endorsed MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa saying the youthful politician will change the country for the better.

The former liberation war fighters’ decision to rally behind Chamisa follows a similar move by Zapu to also support the outgoing Kuwadzana legislator in the July 30 elections.

In an interview with Sunday, ZIPRA War Veterans Trust secretary general Petros Sibanda welcomed the decision by Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa to rally behind Chamisa.

“Dabengwa has taken decisive and intelligent decision to support Chamisa,” said Sibanda.

“We as ZIPRA veterans, we also support what has been decided by our party, patron and our commander-in-chief.

“There is no way we can go against what our president has decided.”

Sibanda said unlike the Zanu PF aligned Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWV), ZIPRA veterans will not blindly support anyone just because they have liberation war credentials.

“The issue is not whether one went to war or not. We are supporting the principles, or the way things should be happening.

“We want to do away with the old system which was prevailing from the (Ian) Smith and (Robert) Mugabe eras. The same system is still continuing again. So, we support meaningful change.”

The ZIPRA trust chief said his colleagues were not happy with the Emmerson Mnangagwa administration after being snubbed following the dramatic ouster of former president Mugabe.

“We planned the removal of Mugabe together with ZANLA veterans,” Sibanda explained.

“We had all agreed what should be done after Mugabe’s ouster but, and unfortunately, our colleagues from the ZANLA side disappeared after we had done the job on 18 November 2017.

“On our part, we feel very much betrayed.”

Sibanda said the two liberation organisations had agreed to form a government of national unity which was going to usher in free and fair elections.

“We even have some minutes of what was agreed. We had actually agreed on some technicalities and what we should do as a nation.”

Sibanda added that the veterans have already started campaigning for Chamisa including Zapu’s parliamentary as well as council candidates throughout the country.