War veterans defiant

HARARE - War veterans banned from convening a meeting to discuss Zimbabwe’s deepening political and economic crisis have vowed to wage a war against President Robert Mugabe.

On Wednesday, police announced that they would not allow the ex-freedom fighters’ meeting scheduled for today to proceed because the veterans did not meet the requirements of the draconian Public Order and Security Act — popularly known as Posa.

In reaction, Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association (ZLWVA) secretary-general Victor Matemadanda came out guns blazing, taking offence with the fact that the War Veterans ministry was organising a meeting with Mugabe in April at a time theirs has been outlawed.

“What is the purpose of the meeting with the president when there is no fulfilment of the previous meeting resolutions? Why should we not use that money that will be used during the meeting to pay bills and take care of war veterans’ welfare, why don’t they use that money do something meaningful for war veterans?” he questioned.

“We don’t see the need for a meeting with the president when the first meeting did not yield anything. These meetings will not solve anything,” Matemadanda said, adding that “people have to know that government is trying to stop this thing but we are fighting, whether it is going to be postponed but we will have it one day, whether they like it or not”.

Matemadanda alleged that War Vets ministry secretary Walter Tapfumanei was being used by some powerful elements in the deeply divided ruling Zanu PF to silence war veterans who are not only critical of Mugabe and his wife, Grace, but have also declared their support for vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“There is someone who wants to make himself the king. What we do not know is whether he is banning meetings of war veterans on his own because he is a mere permanent secretary who does not have the power to block our association meetings,” Matemadanda said.

“What we know is that whenever government gives him money, he goes on programmes, wasting and abusing money. We know that he has been given money, he is not worried about our welfare, can he please let us do our thing, we are not talking to anyone but war veterans. The next time we will be taking him to court. Tapfumanei has a lot of skeletons in his cupboard. He is trying to look as if he works harder than the minister,” he said.

“He is trying to make out-of-court settlements as we speak.”

Matemadanda vowed that their meeting was going to proceed on dates to be advised.

“He (Tapfumanei) is the most junior permanent secretary. He is not going to be bigger than anyone. We do not want to release his dirty files, he is desperate to have the cover of the president, but we will expose them,” fumed an angry Matemadanda.

Tapfumanei said: “Let him say what he wants to say. We did not block their meeting, we issued that statement after a Cabinet meeting and thus to subject me as an individual is malicious and vindictive. I am not the one who is responsible for stopping their meeting.”

“Let them bring those skeletons, it’s more than a year now, let them do that. I did not get where I am by accident,” he said.

Tapfumanei said Matmandada and his allies were welcome to attend the meeting with the president “because we are not discriminating against any war veterans”.

The former liberation war fighters discarded the embattled and increasingly frail nonagenarian as the patron of their association in November.

Tapfumanei said government was addressing issues raised by war vets in their meeting with Mugabe last year.

“Yielding results is a process, there is nothing that happens overnight, it is a process and we are ticking the boxes to make sure that we meet those objectives. We will report progress during the (April) meeting,” Tapfumanei said.

The relationship between Mugabe and the war veterans, dating back to October 1975 when they catapulted him to power through the famous Mgagao Declaration, seems to have irretrievably broken down.

The Mgagao Declaration resulted in Mugabe taking over power of Zanu after the removal of Ndabaningi Sithole and has remained in power until now.

Comments (4)

What a circus - Ngonzo naChin'ai zvatosvorana.

Ngazvirehwe Sezvazviri - 10 March 2017

Mugabe just trying to pull the reins as "de facto" patron of warvets association. Will be interesting to see how the warvets wriggle out of that one, unless they come out guns blazing like they did with that famous "memo". Come on vets, its do or die.

Will Blackman - 11 March 2017

Mugabe just trying to pull the reins as "de facto" patron of warvets association. Will be interesting to see how the warvets wriggle out of that one, unless they come out guns blazing like they did with that famous "memo". Come on vets, its do or die.

Will Blackman - 11 March 2017

The issue of war vets is the proverbial story of Kurera imbwa nemukaka, inopedzesera youkuruma. Mugabe haasi muwar vet, mu war collaborator, like Shuvai Mahofa or Chinotimba, He never received any military training, but surprisingly the likes of Grace Mugabe call her Gandaga Guru. I challenge any one to show me a Robert Gabriel Mugabe in a military attire beside the donated Chinese Suit he liked so much in a tie. You check Smith, he had a military training, Joshua Nkomo he had military Training, Dabengwa, Mujuru and Joice, all had military training. they know suffering. They know what it mean to stay out doors in the rain, crossing a flooded river, sleeping next to a dead comrade.

amina - 13 March 2017

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