Mutsvangwa-led war vets’ executive to meet Govt
THE Christopher Mutsvangwa-led executive of war veterans will today meet with Government in a bid to find common ground following animosity that has cascaded to grassroot war veterans.
The meeting will also seek to find ways of uniting the fractious war veterans who have been divided, with some aligned to Cde Mandi Chimene, while others are affiliated to the Cde Mutsvangwa-led faction.
In an interview yesterday, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators and Ex-detainees Retired BrigadierGeneral Walter Tapfumaneyi said they will include all members of the executive.
These include secretary-general Cde Victor Matemadanda and spokesperson Cde Douglas Mahiya among others.
“We are trying to address divisions, which are in the war veterans movement, and seek to understand where they differ and try to bring convergence,” said Rtd BrigGen Tapfumaneyi.
The meeting ties in with a process that was started in August following the setting up of a high level ad-hoc committee led by secretary for war veterans in Zanu-PF, Dr Sydney Sekeramayi.
It also includes the revolutionary party’s secretary for administration Dr Ignatius Chombo, State Security Minister Cde Kembo Mohadi, War Veterans’ Minister Cde Tshinga Dube and all service chiefs.
The process seeks to mainstream war veterans with the party Zanu-PF on the basis that the veterans cannot be an affiliate of the party but should find space in its structures.
This will see structures starting from the cell, like the Women’s and Youth Leagues with full rights in the party.
Brig-Gen Tapfumaneyi said the association of war veterans will continue with its advocacy work.
“It’s not about the association and its leadership. Where they want us to assist as a ministry, we will be able to assist because we have an executive mandate to organise and unify the war veterans,” he said.
The Mutsvangwa-led war veterans body controls about 70 percent of the 34 000 strong body, while the Mandi Chimene-led executive has about 30 percent of the members.
He said the ministry was not imposing a structure on war veterans, but wants them united so that they follow due processes that will lead to them choosing their leadership.
“We want to understand where and why we differ, and if these are matters of principle from either side, where compromises cannot be reached then it is plausible that we agree to amicably part ways,” he said.
He said welfare issues that fall within his purview are individually accessed but said the current process is the best chance after the indaba with President Mugabe that war veterans have to present their grievances and claim their space.
Today’s meeting was scheduled for yesterday but was shifted to today due to unexplained reasons.
Cde Tshinga Dube