‘War veterans now a laughing stock due to Zanu-PF’ – Clive Malunga
"The pride of being liberators has since vanished. They have nothing to cheer them; they are not even allowed to pick the crumbs that fall off from the rich rulers’ tables." Clive Malunga
War veteran and legendary musician Clive Malunga has lashed out at how the Zanu-PF government has been neglecting his colleagues who liberated Zimbabwe from colonial rule.
Malunga, a Zanu-PF member who rose to prominence in the New Millennium with hits such as ‘Rudhiya’ and ‘Nesango’, has since launched a series of articles attacking his party for mismanaging the country and championing dictatorship for 42 years.
In his latest article published on his website, clivemalunga.co.zw, Malunga accused the regime of neglecting war veterans who faced war horrors trying to liberate the country from Ian Smith.
“There are so many comrades who were injured during the liberation struggle through gunfire, bombs, poison, and torture by Rhodesian forces. All comrades up to this day suffer from trauma.
“These gallant sons and daughters were supposed to be provided with all necessities to start a new life, for example, accommodation, health care, a reasonable pension and psychological counseling.
“Comrades who were injured during the armed struggle are the ones who were supposed to get first priority of travelling abroad to get medical attention in advanced facilities which we do not have in Zimbabwe.
“These things were hardly done. Many comrades are struggling to make ends meet and are surviving from hand to mouth,” Malunga said.
“They have become a laughing stock because of neglect by those that occupy positions of power. Practical examples are comrades Mayor Urimbo, Edgar (Twoboy) Tekere and Lookout Masuku who all died poor.
“The efforts of these protagonists of the Second Chimurenga were in vain for they never enjoyed the fruits of liberating Zimbabwe.”
Malunga added that it was “both surprising and disappointing is that many who served in the Rhodesian army are still getting hefty packages from Britain. Ex-Rhodesian soldiers are, therefore, living comfortably while many comrades I meet look like beggars.
“The pride of being liberators has since vanished. They have nothing to cheer them; they are not even allowed to pick the crumbs that fall off from the rich rulers’ tables.”
The musician believes that, after independence in 1980, government did not do enough for the welfare of the ex-combatants.
“At independence we had enough resources to conduct proper integration of all combatants into society,” he said.
“However, very little effort was made to assist them. All the freedom fighters were left to fend for themselves. Although government offered money for all former combatants who wished to go back to school, it was not possible for most of them to take the offer.
“How could someone go back to school on an empty stomach and without a roof over one’s head? Even if school fees were availed for those who were in town, how many former combatants retired to the rural areas, and have since miserably died in abject poverty?” Malunga added.