Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda has claimed that no war veterans have ever assaulted people during elections. Matemadanda claimed that the former freedom fighters did not have thugs among its ranks. This is despite the fact that war veterans have been blamed for violence towards opposition MDC-T supporters as well as former white farmers, some of whom died during the land invasions in 2000. Matemanda blamed the violence on “rogue war veterans” instead.
Speaking at the Samora Machel Memorial lecture at Dr Ibbo Mandaza’s SAPES Trust on Thursday, Matemadanda said:
It is not true that war veterans who fought in the liberation struggle are the ones that are being used to maim, beat up the people for the purpose of voting for a political party. Some militias were created.
When I got wounded in the war, the people of Mutoko kept me in a cave, treated me, did everything that they could so that I speak to you today and if you were to ask who is closer to me, those people and my leaders, I would choose to be with those people. But a person who would not have come through a situation like mine might be used.
….Yes there are war veterans who are called war veterans for the purpose of abuse and misuse but a war veteran that lived in the people, mobilised the people, fed by the people would not raise his or her arm to harm those people
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