Cross section of civil society leaders gathered at the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition National Conference in Harare have urged war veterans to apologize for the political violence they unleashed on the people of Zimbabwe since 2000.
During a question and answer session at the National Conference speaker after speaker chided war veterans who were in attendance saying they owe the nation an apology for the mass killing and beating of opposition supporters especially in the 2008 Presidential election runoff as they sought to reverse President Mugabe’s defeat to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
“War Vets owe the nation an apology, people were killed and beaten. The blood spilt in the hands of War Vets and now they come to us blasting their former party, Zanu PF,” said Brian Kagoro, former Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition director.
Phekezela Mathoma, a member of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition told the war veterans who were represented by Douglas Mahiya to apologize for what they were did before they left the ruling party.
“You war vets have done a lot to hurt the citizens, people were hurt and locked behind bars and you were responsible for that. When are you going to apologize to the people in order for them to embrace and trust you?” queried Mathoma.
Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with 263Chat, Reverend Useni Sibanda, Director of Christian Alliance said the church had forgiven the former freedom fighters for whatever they did during the bloody runoff elections of 2008.
“The church has a role to play in settling issues in the country and for that, we have forgiven the war vets and welcomed them as they realized that what they did was wrong,” he said.
However Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) Spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya distanced the association from the political violence perpetrated against opposition supporters saying the true war vets who fought for the liberation of the country have people at heart.
“War veterans have people at heart, so we have never done that, we only brought independence to Zimbabwe,” said Mahiya, adding that he has never set his foot in Matebeleland during the Gukurahundi madness.
The conference is being held under the theme, Remaining politics, social and economic justice in Zimbabwe towards a national convergence under the banner of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.
Brian KagoroCrisis in Zimbabwe CoalitionDouglas MahiyaZNLWVA National spokesperson Douglas Mahiya