War vets pile pressure on MugabeFrom MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE’S liberation war veterans that have in previous years been staunch supporters of President Robert Mugabe, have heaped the pressure on the veteran leader to reform the country’s electoral system before the watershed polls in 2018.
The veterans of the 1970s struggle have in recent months been vocal critics of the beleaguered leader, blaming him for the economy’s collapse, repression and plans to manipulate the elections.
Led by expelled Zanu (PF) member and cabinet minister, Christopher Mutsvangwa, the former freedom fighters have endorsed calls by a coalition of opposition parties demanding electoral reforms to level the political playing field said to be skewed in favour of Mugabe’s Zanu (PF).
Pressure groups and civil society organization have joined ranks with the opposition under the National Electoral Reform Agenda.
“A government of the people and by the people should demonstrate its righteousness by listening to the cries of the people. If the people argue that the electoral playfield is skewed in favour of one political party. A people’s government should listen and reform,” said Douglas Mahiya, the war veterans’ spokesperson.
Liberation veterans have broken ranks with Mugabe in recent weeks.
They have been Mugabe’s pillar dating back to the period leading to independence from Britain in 1980.
With the advent of a vibrant opposition in the 1990s, the veterans have been blamed for spearheading violence and intimidation of voters.
They were also at the forefront of the deadly land invasions since 2000.
– CAJ News
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