Ex-Border Gezi Trainer Blasts Hard-To-Please War Vets

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By Leopold Munhende

WAR veteran and former Zimbabwe Youth Service (ZYC) instructor Philemon Mutongi says there is no reason war veterans should continue receiving favours on a silver platter, but they should instead be self-reliant.

Mutongi, who has refused to occupy any position in the ruling Zanu PF party was speaking on New Zim TV’s premier show The Agenda, aired last Saturday.

He questioned why war veterans continue to complain of poverty and rejection yet they were taught how to be self-reliant at their various training camps during Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.

“In 2015, some veterans stopped my monthly allowances thinking I survive on that alone but up to now I speak to them without any hate,” said Mutongi.

“War veterans should be people who think outside the box, they should look for opportunities. I was one of the people who invaded the first farms in 1999 and then we were removed by the now late Vice President Simon Muzenda before going back in 2000. It is the land I have now.

“If you want to know someone who is rich, look for someone who has land. I quit my job in 1996 to till the land. When we were in the liberation struggle, we would be taught self-reliant at the training camps. It is just that money has been made to be something that is so important yet it is stopping us from thinking outside the box.

“War veterans should stop moaning about poverty and act. Those who will listen to this will not be angry with me because they know I am telling the truth.”

After receiving $50 000 payouts in 1997 as compensation for their sacrifice in liberating Zimbabwe, war veterans have been continuously demanding state resources to be channeled towards their welfare, including diplomatic passports, and to be treated outside the country as the local health facilities do not have adequate staff and resources.

Mutongi told The Agenda, war veterans who were lazy to work and opted to demand endlessly state resources, were putting themselves in danger of abuse.

“When I say we should be self-reliant, I say so knowing there are people out there who are too eager to take advantage of my poor colleagues to abuse them, using them to intimidate people yet they should be teaching them. In the end, war veterans, some as good as I am get tainted.”