War vets slam ANC, Khama, Malema

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THE Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) has launched a blistering attack on the South African government, the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and former Botswana president Ian Khama for alleging “unverified” human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, the Daily News reports.

This comes as Zanu PF has also reacted angrily to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s television interview in which he said South Africa was engaging with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government over widespread human rights abuses and repression.

Addressing a press conference in Harare yesterday, ZNLWVA secretary-general Victor Matemadanda said while war veterans in the country acknowledged the “comradely” relations the ruling Zanu PF party had with other former liberation movements in the region, they would prefer that all of them be led by “a leader with institutional memory”.

“You cannot have a government or a political party commenting on issues based on social media reports without evidence. We appreciate that the ANC has set up a fact finding team because we have nothing to hide and we know nothing happened.

“Zimbabwe like all other countries has come up with measures to contain coronavirus and I cannot see how any leader having the moral sense to say we should have sacrificed our people because there are people who want to protest. It’s outrageous,” Matemadanda said.

Turning to Malema and Khama, Matemadanda said the two were not qualified to lecture Zimbabwe on democracy.

“If there were any cases of rights abuses, they need to be investigated, but we have seen people faking abductions as a prelude to where we are today where we have the Malemas and the Khamas interfering like they were chief justices of democracy.

“Malema is good at speaking while his brain is sleeping to please his funders. The ANC once reported to us that his party is being funded by some Zimbabweans,” Matemadanda said.

Reacting to Magashule’s comments, Zanu PF acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa also said the ANC had no authority to act as the country’s prefect.

“We note that this is not the first time a senior ANC leader has sought to speak like Zimbabwe’s prefect. Zanu PF categorically states that Cde Magashule’s utterances were completely out of order. For the record, there is no brutality of whatever form happening in Zimbabwe but enforcement of lockdown regulations in line with recommendations by the World Health Organisation, our ministry of Health and Child Care and what has become common practice on Covid-19,” Chinamasa said in a statement.

This came after Magashule had told the media Ramaphosa was engaging Mnangagwa over the degenerating situation in Zimbabwe.

“We see what is happening in Zimbabwe. The president is interacting with the president of Zimbabwe, worried about what is taking place there,” he said. “We have spoken to some people who are exiled, who have run away from Zimbabwe. That is why we are interacting party to party to raise some of the concerns they have actually raised about what is happening in Zimbabwe.”

But Chinamasa argued that the exiled Zimbabweans Magashule referred to were in fact criminals escaping justice in their country for crimes committed under late former president Robert Mugabe.

“There is no Zimbabwean who was exiled to South Africa by our government or the party. Referring to fugitives of justice who escaped this country to find a safe haven in South Africa as exiles; when they dodged various corruption crimes committed during the previous administration is not only hypocritical but absolute hogwash,” he said.

“To find therefore, a person of the stature of the secretary general of the ANC making such deplorable utterances on the basis of old videos some of which have been imported from situations outside Zimbabwe but attributed to Zimbabwe in the past, being resurrected by keyboard activists is an embarrassment not only to himself but the organisation he represents.”

He pointed out that South Africa too had deployed its military onto the streets to enforce strict Covid-19 lockdown regulations and that the SANDF had been accused of abusing non-compliant civilians.

“We have seen on social media, videos of South African soldiers beating their non-compliant citizens using fists and sjamboks while in some regrettable circumstances, we have seen them spraying rubber bullets on their citizens resulting in serious injuries and deaths, to the extent that it has been reported that members of the SANDF killed eight citizens during enforcement operations. Zanu PF has not uttered a word in public,” said Chinamasa.

He also referred to the Marikana Massacre in the North West province in August 2012 when police opened fire on striking mine workers.
Chinamasa said on several occasions, Zimbabweans based in South Africa had been subjected to systematic xenophobic attacks “with some ANC leaders spreading hostile messages that worsened those attacks against our people but we have sought to address that using the normal diplomatic channels.”

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