Felex Share Senior Reporter
WAR veterans yesterday said they were “duty-bound” to attend tomorrow’s One Million-Man March and celebrate President Mugabe’s successes as a Statesman and leader of the revolutionary party, Zanu-PF.
The march is being organised by the Zanu-PF Youth League.
This comes as the preparatory committee of the Youth League held its last meeting yesterday with officials saying all was in place for the march.
Addressing journalists in Harare, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association secretary general Cde Victor Matemadanda said the agenda of the march had been specified to them and there was every reason for them to take part in the event.
“They have written to us, inviting us and the purpose has been clearly spelt out,” he said.
“Even if we were not invited, if it is clear that it is being done for the President, we are duty bound to attend. People had not been given information and there was a lot of speculation, but that has been rectified. We have been given information and there is no doubt it is in support of the President and we have no reason not to attend. We are going to attend effectively and actively.”
Cde Matemadanda added: “I know there has been a lot of talk regarding the march, its organisation and purpose, but we as leadership have said comrades must come. The march is not in support of any particular group or in the interest of any group, but is it for the President and him being our patron and Commander-in-chief, we are obliged to come and support. We are not only supporting, but taking leadership and giving direction on how it should be done. When I say direction, I am talking about war veterans being elders, the youths are our children and yes, they could have positions, but they remain our children. As parents we will not necessarily lead, but advise.”
He said war veterans with reservations about the event should first attend the march and the national executive would give an explanation later.
“War vets are soldiers and it’s like they are being called on parade and in the military if there is a misunderstanding or complaint it is done after the completion of the task. It is task first, explanation and complaints later,” Cde Matemadanda said. He said the freedom fighters should use any transport availed for the purposes of the march.
Churches, youths associations and students have also been invited.
Zanu-PF Youth League deputy secretary Cde Kudzanai Chipanga yesterday said: “We have started erecting tents and we are urging members to liaise with their provincial offices for transport arrangements.
“We have complied with the laws of the land and obtained the police clearance while water tanks and mobile tuck shops and toilets will be available at the venue.”
Assembly points have been created from which the youths will march to the venue, the Robert Mugabe Square near Rainbow Towers Hotel.
Masvingo and Mashonaland East will gather at Rufaro Stadium, Manicaland at Raylton Sports Club, Mashonaland West at Kensington Shopping Centre and Mashonaland Central opposite the South African Embassy.
Midlands and Matabeleland provinces will assemble at the National Sports Stadium.