Friday, April 16, 2010

Real War Veterans suffer

from IC Publications:

A few years later, Mugabe launched the Gukurahundi campaign. Its name means "the wind that sweeps away the rubbish", and Mugabe's rubbish was the Ndebele minority.

Between 1984 and 1987, around 20,000 people were killed in massacres by security forces, when Nkomo agreed to a Unity Accord that folded his followers into Mugabe's party, which became the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).

Within the cooperative, one faction joined ZANU-PF, but Makwelo still speaks cautiously about the Gukurahundi.

"There were disturbances," he said. "We were not very much affected."

The decision to back Mugabe did bring rewards: new money to build a hospital, staffed with government medics and drugs.

They prospered until 2000, when Mugabe launched a violent campaign of land reforms and his supporters staged deadly electoral attacks that turned Zimbabwe into an international pariah.

The violence was spearheaded by self-styled "war veterans", many of them far too young to have seen combat. Their actions tarred the reputation of these real war vets, and donations dried up.

Meanwhile, the farm sector collapsed and dragged the rest of the economy down with it.

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