Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Call to remove Mugabe’s name from airport

War veterans in Zimbabwe are demanding that the main international airport remove Robert Mugabe, who ruled the country for 37 years, from its name.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general Victor Matemadanda (centre) flanked by ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya (left), vice chairman Headman Moyo (right) and other provincial executive members addresses the media in Harare. — (Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda)
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general Victor Matemadanda (centre) flanked by ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya (left), vice chairman Headman Moyo (right) and other provincial executive members addresses the media in Harare. — (Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda)

The airport was renamed from Harare International Airport to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport last year, a few weeks before Mr Mugabe resigned as president following a military takeover.

Victor Matemadanda, from the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), said a petition would be handed over to Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over as president and won a disputed election last month.

He said the war veterans would march to the airport on Wednesday to demand the removal of Mr Mugabe’s “dirty name” and for other heroes’ names to be considered instead.

“The current name is tarnishing the legacy of the liberation struggle because Mugabe, whom the airport is named after, is a sell-out… [The] airport cannot be named after a last-minute traitor,” he said.

The airport officially assumes its new identity — R G Mugabe International Airport — today.
The airport officially assumed its new identity — R G Mugabe International Airport.

The war veterans are an influential group within Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party.

The ZNLWVA secretary-general also said the group backed Mr Mnangagwa’s victory, which is being challenged by the opposition.

He avoided a run-off vote by about 36,000 votes, according to official results.

“The president-elect won by 50.8 %, full stop,” Mr Matemadanda said at the press conference in the capital, Harare. BBC News