The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) has demanded a public apology from former President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace for publicly “denigrating disrespecting them.” The war veterans developed an acrimonious relationship with the former president when they publicly backed then vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa to take over from Mugabe. ZNLWVA secretary-general Victor Matemadanda told the former freedom fighters at a meeting:
It is known that all of us supported Mugabe. As for me, I remember when I kept a cutting of his picture from the Zambia Times before we came back to Rhodesia. I kept that picture for two years. Such was the love I had for the old man. But to think that he said I had no place in Zanu PF, that all of you are a welfare case, that is degrading of the highest order.
Sure, here is a general who goes to war with soldiers and become victorious, upon returning he calls them dogs; he must apologise. Yes, they can pardon each other with [President Emmerson] Mnangagwa, but given what he did to us, he must be man enough and say ‘my children, I am sorry’
His wife [Grace] reached the extent of saying who sent us to war. We want to reach the stage of forgiveness, but one has to admit their wrongs.