Midlands war vets executive snubs Mlala
ZIMBABWE National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) members yesterday held parallel meetings in Gweru with Cde George Mlala convening one at Mkoba Hall while the Midlands executive had theirs at the Zanu-PF district offices.
The provincial executive snubbed Cde Mlala saying information on his meeting had not been communicated through official structures.
ZNLWVA Midlands chairperson Cde Virginia Mupasu professed ignorance of the meeting which was convened by Cde Mlala. “As the Midlands executive, we did not attend the other meeting that you are talking about because we were not aware of it. We had our meeting today where we invited a fertiliser company to Gweru to interface with war veterans. We had negotiated with them so that they could give our comrades fertiliser loans ahead of the 2016/17 summer cropping season,” said Cde Mupasu.
“We want to ensure that our members particularly those that benefited from the land reform programme have access to farming inputs earlier ahead of the summer cropping season for them to be able to prepare on time.
“The idea is to ensure that the land is not underutilised as well as ensuring food security at household level,” she said.
Cde Mlala of the Cde Mandiitawepi Chimene-led faction announced a “dissolution” of the Midlands executive and “appointed a new interim one that would handle the affairs of the province until the next extraordinary congress.”
Cde Lot Chihwereva Mpofu of Mberengwa was appointed interim chairperson. He would be deputised by Cde Noah Kasikai of Gweru while Cde Stephen Moyo was appointed secretary general.
Cde Mlala said: “We should be guided by the party ideology. We should respect the people the same way we used to respect them during the liberation struggle.”
Meanwhile, the Government has called for unity of purpose between the warring war veterans’ camps led by Cdes Chris Mutsvangwa and Mandi Chimene as they prepare for their extraordinary congress to elect new leadership.
President Mugabe advised the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association to elect a new leadership after reports that the association had passed a vote of no confidence in the Mutsvangwa led executive.
Cde Chimene then claimed to be the association’s leader on an interim basis. The High Court, however, ordered her to stop masquerading as the association’s chair and acknowledged the legitimacy of the Mutsvangwa executive.
Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, said on Wednesday that the High Court ruling must be respected but the war veterans should find a common ground to overcome the current contradictions.
He said anyone aggrieved by the ruling should approach the courts for recourse. “As Government, we call for unity among war veterans,” said Rtd Col Dube.
“We do not deal with factions and the ruling of the High Court should be respected. The court has made a ruling and we should not behave like a banana republic. Those judges are appointed by the President and they use the authority of the President. We want all war veterans to start the process of holding their congress sooner than later.”
Rtd Col Dube said there were no private meetings held between him and the two camps but they were aware of Government’s position on the matter.
“I didn’t have any private meeting with Mutsvangwa or anyone but they know our thinking. I am sure they read what we say in the papers because newspapers are for the public,” he said.
Cde Dube said the process was a complicated one given the court interdict but he was hopeful that the challenges were surmountable.
Cde Mutsvangwa and his entire executive that include Messrs Victor Matemadanda (secretary general) and Douglas Mahiya (secretary for information and publicity) were expelled from Zanu-PF on various charges.
Mr Mphakama Mbete