NewsSouthern AfricaZimbabwe's war vets call for renaming of Mugabe airport

Mon,24Sep2018

Posted on Thursday, 23 August 2018 14:59

Zimbabwe's war vets call for renaming of Mugabe airport

By REUTERS

A bird flies near the air traffic control tower of the newly renamed Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. Photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP/SIPAThe Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) said on Tuesday (August 21) that it wants Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport renamed, saying the former president was no longer fit to have the airport named after him.

The airport - formerly Harare International Airport - was renamed after the former president last November shortly before his removal from office.

Mugabe, 94, ruled Zimbabwe from independence in 1980 until he stepped down under pressure from president Emmerson Mnangagwa's allies in the army in November.

Addressing the media, the War Veterans Association spokesperson said the airport has become tainted by Mugabe's reputation.

"The first port of call to any international airport must evoke confidence to any would be investor or tourist rather than to be greeted by a name notoriously associated with dictatorship, oppression and repression," said War Veterans Association spokesperson Douglas Mahiya, as he addressed the press.

More pressing matters facing the country

Viewed by some as a liberation hero, others remember Mugabe for turning a promising country into an economic basket case and international pariah.

Zimbabweans say there are more pressing matter facing the country.

"We are at a very critical moment, at a very critical moment when the economy is in shambles and someone is calling for a change of an airport name, really is that rational, it's nonsense, it's foolish," said one HArare resident Jeffrey Moyo.

"To simply change the name of the airport for reasons that are personal, that is personal political differences. I think that is not good for the country," said another Harare resident, Ernest Mudzengi.

"To simply change the name of the airport for reasons that are personal, that is personal political differences. I think that is not good for the country," added Nicole Mudeya.

The war veterans handed in their petition calling for the name change to government officials on Wednesday.



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