War Vets vows to reform Zanu PF

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THE President Emmerson Mnangagwa-led Zanu PF has promised to reform itself and start a culture of tolerance and acceptance of other political players instead of labelling them enemies, as was the norm in the past.


In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, newly-appointed Zanu PF political commissar Victor Matemadanda said he would fight to ensure that the ruling party remained united, while accepting divergent views.

Matemadanda, who took over from the exiled Saviour Kasukuwere, said people should understand politics from a market point of view, where those selling different vegetables should understand the importance of their different wares.

“Maybe we have been having wrong people playing wrong roles in politics,” he said.

“People think when given a chance to speak, they must scold those in the opposition and demonise those with divergent views.

“That is not what we want in politics. What we want is a scenario where people meet at a market selling different wares and we must make sure that a person who buys tomatoes can also buy onions because what we want is to make people have good relish to eat.”

Ironically, war veterans, of whom Matemadanda is one of the leaders, were often accused of being at the forefront of violence in protecting the ousted former President Robert Mugabe and Matemadanda’s statement can be dismissed by observers as revisionism.

“We don’t want a scenario, where only one person wants to sell alone at a market,” Matemadanda continued. “This is the approach that we have.

“As war veterans, we fought to liberate the country and we want to give direction now.”

He said during the war, they had received lessons on how to identify the enemy, adding: “As we are at the moment in Zimbabwe, there is nothing called an enemy, we have political opponents and it’s healthy for democracy.”

Matemadanda said his ambitious target was easy to achieve, as war veterans had previously united people, citing the march against Mugabe in the days leading to the former Head of State’s resignation.

Within Zanu PF, he said his major target was to unite members, who have for long lived under the shadows of rival factions.
“My target is to get the party united, to get the party moving and get everyone on board and make everyone united because Zanu PF has got a role in the body politc of Zimbabwe and must lead by example,” he said.

“I am going to fight hate language and make sure that people have different views and not necessarily have to be enemies of war.

“They must accept that there were people vying for what they are fighting for.”

Matemadanda said divisions brought underdevelopment.

“We are going to create that culture, but above everything, we want people united in the country, people united in the party and this can be achieved if people understand that we will not go anywhere when we are divided even as a party or government,” he said.

He declined to comment on next week’s Zanu PF special congress, Matemadanda, referring questions to party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo who was unreachable

Initially, Matemadanda was appointed War Veterans deputy minister before he was dropped and assigned to the party after a constitutional provision on how many non-parliamentarians can be appointed as ministers had been overlooked.

Matemadanda had previously been fired from Zanu PF alongside other top war veterans for consistently attacking former First Lady Grace Mugabe and her faction, G40. – Newsday