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Zimbabwe war veterans association splits

by Staff reporter
15 Jan 2024 at 05:18hrs | Views
Zanu-PF affiliate Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) has split following the birth of a splinter group which has portrayed the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs minister Christopher Mutsvangwa as an illegitimate leader.

Addressing the media on Friday, Mutsvangwa confirmed the birth of a splinter war veterans grouping which he described as "Johnny-come-lately" whose objectives were to snatch their organisation's name.

The divisions among the war vets have exposed factionalism in Zanu-PF with each group reportedly having strong backing in the party.

Mutsvangwa said he was still the chairperson of the ZNLWVA ahead of the congress to be held any time soon to elect a new leadership.

"I want to add something concerning my ministry and my organisation the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association where I am the chairperson. We are going to have a congress as soon as our President Emmerson Mnangagwa is back on leave, who is our patron," Mutsvangwa said.

"We see an effort by the Johnny-come-lately; they want to snatch our name, why can't they start their own thing? We are seeing some people who are impostors saying they are from the ZNLWVA.

"Zanu-PF is our DNA as war veterans and we want to thank President Emmerson Mnangagwa for restoring our ministry," he added.

In a Press statement yesterday the splinter group said Mutsvangwa's tenure had expired.

The statement said that their leader was Andrease Ethan Mathibela who they are backing.

"It is important to note that Ambassador Mutsvangwa ceased to be chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) on November 5, 2019, as his first five-year tenure had come to an end. Therefore, any statements or actions taken by him after that date are not representative of the official position of ZNLWVA," read the statement.

"Election of a new executive on October 7, 2023, an extraordinary congress was held during which a new executive, led by Andrease Ethan Mathibela was elected into office.

"This new executive is currently responsible for leading ZNLWVA and making decisions on behalf of the association. Any information or statements concerning the ZNLWVA should be sought from the current executive," said the splinter war veterans group in its statement.

The war veterans vowed that any statements made by Mutsvangwa regarding ZNLWVA's activities or plans are invalid and hold no legal effect.

"We urge all members of ZNLWVA and its stakeholders to dismiss Ambassador Mutsvangwa's statement with the contempt it deserves. As mentioned earlier, his statements do not reflect the official position of ZNLWVA and they should be considered as such," the statement added.

Zanu-PF information director Farai Marapira yesterday said ZNLWVA was an affiliate of his part and dismissed allegations of divisions among the freedom fighters.

"War veterans are an affiliate of Zanu-PF, there are just a few who have joined a former Rhodesian soldier who has not repented and this cannot cause division in Zanu-PF because of someone who is simply lost,"Marapira said.

War veterans have in the past been used as foot soldiers in campaigning for Zanu-PF, in some cases according to human rights watchdogs, perpetrating violence against opposition supporters.

Last year President Emmerson Mnangagwa urged war veterans ahead of the August 23 elections to scale up campaigns to ensure the ruling Zanu-PF party romped to victory.

Source - newsday
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