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Faction Of Zimbabwe's Liberation War Veterans Prays For Peace

Veterans of Zimbabwe's war of liberation who are opposed to the continued rule of President Robert Mugabe met Thursday in Bulawayo, the country's second-largest city, in what they said was a prayer meeting for peace in next year's elections.

Veterans faction leader Andrew Ndlovu said his movement wants to move away from what he described as Zimbabwe's "culture of violence."

But there is a sharp rivalry between Ndlovu's group and one led by Jabulani Sibanda, a controversial figure who was once expelled from the ruling ZANU-PF party but was reinstated by President Robert Mugabe. Sibanda's group has been demonstrating around the country in support of Mr. Mugabe's bid for re-election next year.

War veteran Wilfred Mhanda, also known by his liberation struggle alias of Dzinashe Machingura, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he doesn't recognize either Ndlovu or Sibanda as legitimate war veteran leaders.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...