Leaders of the Zimbabwean War Veterans Association boycotted President Robert Mugabe’s speech on Monday during the country’s Heroes and Defence Forces celebrations.
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) last month denounced Mugabe as a divisive dictator and sought to withdraw support for the president.
Spokesman for ZNLWVA, Douglas Mahiya said, “We feel cheated. Forty years into this party my youthful time where I was supposed to have worked for my life has been spent, has been invested in this independence, into this freedom only to be told after such a period that I’m no longer relevant because I’m talking about what is supposed to be talked about in the process of turning the wheel of the revolution.”
Zanu-PF is in woes and has of late been facing a number of anti-government protests from various quarters.
During the ceremony, Mugabe called for an end to protests against his rule and the worsening economic situation.
“Things like protests don’t pay. Because usually they end up being violent protests,” said Mugabe.
“Government values the contribution of civil servants in the public sector, and as such, will implement programmes to improve their welfare and conditions of service. Measures to avoid delays in the payments of salaries for civil servants are being developed,” he added.
Last week, Zimbabwe’s ruling party expelled a number of members including four senior war veterans.
The four are facing charges of undermining the authority of president Mugabe.