War veterans withdraw their support for Mugabe

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans has released a statement criticising the president.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe delivers a speech during the official opening of the third session of the eight parliament of Zimbabwe in Harare on September 15, 2015. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - War veterans previously loyal to President Robert Mugabe have described him as "dictatorial".

They now say they will no longer support Mugabe, a move some are saying could be a game-changer.

This is a slap in the face for Mugabe, who appeared to have defused simmering anger among the war veterans when he met them in April.

In a statement released late on Thursday, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association said the president had always thrived on a divide and rule strategy.

The war veterans also expressed dismay at his attacks on peaceful protesters at a time the country's economy is on its knees.

That could be a reference to supporters of the "This Flag" movement, which recently called for two nationwide stayaways.

Perhaps most significant of all, was the declaration by these war veterans that they'll no longer support Mugabe in elections which are due in 2018.

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