War Veteran Chides Colleagues Over Insatiable Demands
A veteran of Zimbabwe’s war of liberation, Philemon Mutongi, has urged fellow war veterans to become self-reliant and wean themselves from their tendency to demand favours from the goverment.
Mutongi, a former Zimbabwe Youth Service (ZYC) instructor, has refused to occupy any position in the ruling ZANU PF party, and instead, focused on farming.
Speaking on New Zim TV’s premier show The Agenda, aired last Saturday, Mutongi challenged war veterans to think outside the box and stop relying on freebies. He said:
If you want to know someone who is rich, look for someone who has land. I quit my job in 1996 to till the land.
When we were in the liberation struggle, we would be taught self-reliance at the training camps.
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It is just that money has been made to be something that is so important yet it is stopping us from thinking outside the box.
War veterans should stop moaning about poverty and act. Those who will listen to this will not be angry with me because they know I am telling the truth.
Mutongi told The Agenda, war veterans who were lazy to work and opted to demand endlessly state resources, were putting themselves in danger of abuse.
In 1997 war veterans received $50 000 payouts as compensation for their sacrifice in liberating Zimbabwe.
Since then, the ex-combatants have been continuously demanding state resources be channelled towards their welfare, including diplomatic passports.
They have also demanded to be treated outside the country as the local health facilities do not have adequate staff and resources.