Zimbabwe’s 1970s war veterans have reportedly demanded that government renames the country’s main airport, the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

Mugabe unveiled a plaque to commemorate the renaming of Harare International Airport after himself a week before his unceremonious removal from power last year.

The change of name was an “honour”, the 93-year-old then president said, after he drew open some gold curtains covering the commemorative plaque to the flourish of music from a police brass band.

“May I on behalf of government, the people of Zimbabwe and my own behalf, thank most sincerely the ministry of transport for the honour bestowed in me by renaming the Harare International Airport to Robert Mugabe International Airport,” he said, in quotes carried by the state-run Herald newspaper at the time.

But, the country’s war veterans who were influential in Mugabe’s fall have since described the veteran leader as “a sell-out” after he endorsed the country’s main opposition in the just ended elections.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya said the former president was no longer befitting of the honour bestowed on him last year.

Mahiya also described the relationship between the ruling Zanu-PF party and its former leader of several decades as “irretrievably broken down with irreconcilable difference and an irremediable state”.

Meanwhile, the war veterans’ secretary general, Victor Matemadanda, vowed that they would push for the removal of “Mugabe’s dirty name” from the airport.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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