A new splinter faction of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association has broken ranks with former ruling party ZANU-PF saying the country's economic woes are the consequence of poor governance, corruption and cronyism promoted by President Robert Mugabe and other senior members of the party.
Headed by retired Col. Basten Beta, the group has launched a media campaign against President Mugabe and his inner circle, accusing them of running the Reserve Bank and state enterprises like private businesses.
Sources said advertisements inserted in private newspapers by the group accuse the president and other top ZANU-PF officials of amassing wealth while millions of Zimbabweans live in abject poverty.
One ad declared: “Post war leadership continues to betray the values of the armed struggle by destroying unity and promoting factionalism, racism, tribalism, regionalism, nepotism, greed and corruption.”
Top ZANU-PF officials have responded angrily to the advertisements, saying they will soon clamp down on the militant group after holding a party meeting. Beta could not be reached for comment.
Sources in his group said it was time to speak out as the country's deep problems cannot be resolved unless Mr. Mugabe and his associates are removed from power.
The other two war veteran associations, headed by Jabulani Sibanda and Joseph Chinotimba, back Mr. Mugabe.
Political commentator Nkululeko Sibanda said not only poor governance and corruption but also Western sanctions are to blame for the nation’s steep economic decline over the past decade.
“These war veterans should have spoken out against all these problems soon after they were given gratuities of up to Z$50,000 each in the late1990s, though they are saying a lot of sense,” Sibanda said.