HARARE – War veterans aligned to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa have vowed to ensure the reinstatement of seven Zanu PF provincial chairpersons suspended by the party for fanning factionalism.
This came out from the countrywide meetings the former freedom fighters have been holding since their meeting with President Robert Mugabe in April.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association spokesperson Douglas Mahiya told the Daily News that ex-combatants had resolved to “fight against the continued vilification of war veterans and for the restoration of democracy in Zanu PF”.
“We resolved that the seven chairpersons suspended by Zanu PF national political commissar (Saviour ) Kasukuwere should be reinstated and that as war veterans we recognise them as the legitimate Zanu PF provincial leaders chosen by the people the same way . . . Mugabe was elected,” Mahiya said.
The seven chairpersons include Kizito Chivamba (Midlands), Ezra Ruvai Chadzamira (Masvingo), Joel Biggie Matiza (Mashonanald East), Godfrey Tsenengamu (Mashonaland central youth league), Edmore Samambwa (Midlands youth league), Vengai Musengi (Mashonaland West youth league) and Khumbulani Mpofu (Bulawayo youth league).
Mahiya also said former freedom fighters had resolved to push for the expulsion from Zanu PF of women’s league members Sarah Mahoka and Smelly Dube for allegedly disrespecting Mnangagwa.
Also recommended for expulsion is Zanu PF Masvingo provincial political commissar Jappy Jaboon “who has intensified his vilification of war veterans probably because he is a son of a war deserter or was a neighbour of someone who worked in the Rhodesian security system”.
They also demanded the immediate resignation of Energy minister Samuel Undenge for allegedly allowing Zesa Holdings to controversially pay businessman Wicknell Chivayo $5 million for feasibility studies on a $100 million solar project.
Undenge has, however, denied any wrong-doing and has since instituted investigations into the matter.
The ex-combatants further opposed the proposed dishing out of residential stands to Zanu PF youths, saying it was a vote-buying gimmick by the governing party.
“The stands are meant for land barons who will then sell them and use the money to buy votes in the 2018 elections and destroy the legacy of war veterans. We say no to that as war veterans because it is also being done at the expense of local authorities who have the magnetite to allocate stands to residents,” Mahiya said.
Interestingly, the resolution comes as an affront to Mugabe who endorsed the youths’ demand for stands when he addressed the “million
man-march” last week.
Yet Mahiya defended their position, saying Mugabe was not aware of the situation obtaining on the ground.
“The president has never been to Chitungwiza where it is happening and people take advantage of that and lie to him. We are his soldiers who are on the ground and it is our duty to tell him the truth,” he insisted.
The veterans of the country’s liberation struggle also took a dig at supposed leaders of a Zanu PF faction opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe — the Generation 40 — Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo and Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao, labelling them “regime change merchants”.