Zanu PF wants war veterans takeover all shutdown firms, companies (23-06-07)

By Natasha Hove

ZANU PF wants war veterans to take over all closed firms as the party tries to buy their support ahead of next year's harmonized presidential and parliamentary elections, a top politburo member has said.

This comes amid moves by the go

vernment to turn the ex-combatants-architects of previous violent campaigns-into a reserve force in a bid to increase military presence ahead of next year’s elections.

Their constitution into a formal reserve force has sent shivers down the spines of the opposition, as the war veterans will now get official state funding. In the past, such funding by the government was covert.

Dumiso Dabengwa, a top politburo member and senior Zanu-PF official revealed that the government will cede closed firms to the restive liberation war fighters who have not been spared the ravages of the country’s grinding economic crises.

Dabengwa is a board member of a committee appointed by President Robert Mugabe to restructure the Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association. The board members include Retired General Solomon Mujuru (chairman), Dabengwa, (vice chairman) Brigadier General Charles Tarumbwa and Retired General Richard Ruwodo as (secretary).

Other members include Retired General Vitalis Zvinavashe, Retired Colonel Richard Dube, Iris Mabuwa and Retired Major Alex Mudavanhu.”

“When we met as a board we said war veterans should be the drivers of the economy and help the government it (economy) around…We as a board will ask for a list of companies that have closed down which should be given to them to run soon.

“We have the knowledge, if our children have the skills we will incorporate them and follow behind them. War vets should not sit idle. The pension is not for your survival but for thanking you,” said Dabengwa.

He also said that the board would push to make sure ‘the war veterans also obtain hunting safari concessions in the tourism industry. “Very few war veterans have concessions in the tourism sector. We want them to also get a share so that you can run safaris.”

President Mugabe-in power since 1980-is facing an open rebellion from within Zanu PF over his controversial decision to hang on to power despite earlier promises that he will retire next year.

War veterans’ were instrumental in a securing a hard won victory for Mugabe in the last presidential elections in 2002 through a sustained campaign of violence where he beat MDC candidate Morgan Tsvangirai by just 400 000 votes- CAJ News

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