War vets minister refuses to recognise Mandi Chimene-led executive
THE Government will not recognise the war veterans’ structures being set up by Cde Mandiitawepi Chimene’s supporters and will continue working with those that existed before the expulsion of the erstwhile war veterans chairman, Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Addressing members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association from the Midlands and Masvingo Provinces in Gweru on Sunday, the Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators and Ex-Political Detainees, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, said the Government does not support parallel structures.
Some of the structures were set up by Cde George Mlala as a follow up to the solidarity meeting which the freedom fighters convened with President Mugabe in June.
Rtd Col Dube said the ministry wants war veterans to unite.
He said former war veterans chairperson, Cde Mutsvangwa and five other expelled executive members were still members of the association although they had outstanding issues to resolve with the party and the courts.
“As the Government we don’t approve of parallel structures. It’s a lie to say President Mugabe said there shall be parallel structures. What Cde Chimene and Cde Mlala did is null and void. We don’t recognise the structures that they set up. If Mlala wanted his own structures he should have registered his own association and we wouldn’t have problems with that. Whatever was said during the solidarity meeting was not part of our programme as a ministry because you all know where the money that sponsored that meeting came from. The meeting was not formally communicated to us as a ministry,” Rtd Col Dube said.
He said Cde Chimene had conceded that they erred in setting up parallel structures and fanning divisions among war veterans.
Rtd Col Dube said President Mugabe wanted to see war veterans united and speaking with one voice.
“The decision to expel some of the comrades who might have made a mistake wasn’t the President’s. In my view there were other people who wanted them out.
“The President understands war veterans very much because we were together in the trenches and is therefore cognisant of their plight,” he said.
Rtd Col Dube said the Government had set up a steering committee to run the affairs of the association pending conclusion of the Mutsvangwa case. The committee would be led by Cde Robert Ncube assisted by Cdes Chinengundu and Mlala.
In August, Cde Mlala came to the Midlands where he set up a parallel structure which he said was now the officially recognised provincial executive.
Cde Lot Chihwereva Mpofu of Mberengwa was appointed interim chairperson, deputised by Cde Noah Kasikai of Gweru while Cde Stephen Moyo was appointed secretary. — @munya_musiiwa.
Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube