ZANU PF’s war veterans have told President Emmerson Mnangagwa to reserve seats in Parliament exclusively for the 1970s liberation war fighters to preserve the party’s rule.
Presenting the war veterans league conference resolution at the weekend, its secretary for legal affairs Jairos Mapuranga said: “Consideration should be made to have a war veterans quota in the (National) Assembly to ensure that the party is represented by the comrades grounded in ideology to override the system of individuals with narrow selfish interests and that the legislators expedite the enactment of the Patriotic Bill to effectively protect the country and its leadership from treacherous mechanisation by political malcontents.”
Mnangagwa, however, said war veterans were expecting too much from him and his government.
“I was listening very carefully to your resolutions, others are very sound, but some are beyond sound. The depth and all-encompassing nature of your conference resolutions reflect your love for the party. You almost want your government to do the impossible,” Mnangagwa said.
Mapuranga added: “The Chitepo School of Ideology should be well-resourced and be fully operational on full-time basis, while the National Youth Service programme must be revived as it instils patriotism, discipline and responsibility in the young generation.”
The war veterans also requested a quota on boards of government entities as well as commissions.
They said a war veterans quota in Parliament would help expedite the Patriotic Bill, which seeks to criminalise and impose stiff penalties on private correspondence between what were termed “self-serving citizens” and foreign governments or any officer or agent.
The National Assembly in April adopted a motion calling for the crafting of the Patriotic Bill, whose draft was accepted by government in October 2020.
Mapuranga also said it was the responsibility of the war veterans to ensure that the revolutionary ideology and liberation war history was preserved.
“The war veterans continue strengthening, promoting, defending and popularising the party’s policies and protecting the leadership from any unwarranted attempts to demean or undermine their authority and guard against infiltration,” he added.