10,000 war vets in hotels, vendors feast

THE 10,000 war veterans who attended a meeting with President Robert Mugabe in Harare last week were booked in city hotels and there as so much food after the event they ended up inviting vendors and street kids to the feast, it has emerged.

war veterans marchMugabe called the meeting in a bid to calm the former fighters as discontent with his rule increased within Zanu PF, especially at what is seen as an attempt by the 92-year-old leader to force his wife on the ruling party as his successor.

Sources said there was so much food at Thursday’s gathering the former fighters could not finish it. They ended up inviting vendors and street kids to join in the feast.

The meeting was organised by the war veterans’ ministry with sources saying it must have cost the cash-strapped government a pretty sum at a time the administration struggles to pay its workers.

“Comrade, there was plenty of food like we never had seen before,” said one Comrade Don Ndlovu from Matabeleland South.

“Organisers had to run around and bring in street kids and other people who were nearby to help us finish the food as we had to go back to our hotels where we were booked.

“We just could not leave the food to go to waste while some people are going hungry.”

Another female ex-combatant from Masvingo added: “Comrade, nyama anga ari makavi, madrink aya kuita machakwi chaiwo.”

“Everything went on well despite the patron (Mugabe) not specifically addressing our issues.”

“We hope the patron was not playing games with us because we are going to carry out what he encouraged us to do,” said 61-year-old Melusi Sibanda from Zvishavane.

According to the organisers, “everyone had more than their full share and even enough to carry home.

“People were grouped into tents and fed according to their provinces and were provided with sadza and rice with chicken, beef as well as pork). There were drinks, fruits and bottled water as well as bread.

“It was agreed a similar meeting would be held at least once a year – an obviously anticipated one for the hungry citizens.”

The former fighters presented a number of demands to Mugabe who repeated his lament that some in the ruling party were plotting to take over, believing he was about to die.

“You then see a stampede now; they will be saying the president is dying. ‘I am not dying, shame on you’.

“I am there at the mercy of the people. If the people say no, go, I go. But if the people say no, we still want you, I stay on,” said Mugabe.


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