Mugabe, war vets clash looms

War Veterans' secretary general Victor Matemadanda
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HARARE – War veterans from ZNLWVA have threatened to take the war to President Robert Mugabe if he does not resolve the thorny succession issue their way.

This comes as permanent secretary in the ministry of War Veterans Walter Tapfumaneyi told the State-controlled media that Mugabe would soon meet war veterans.

Matemadanda told the Daily News that they see no reason to engage Mugabe unless he addresses their concerns and also censures his wife.

“We have heard about that meeting but we are not part of that process, most of the war veterans are members of ZNLWVA, we have not taken any position as the association on whether we should attend or not but I don’t see the reason to congregate when there is nothing that is done about our welfare.

“Last year, Mugabe promised us many things but everything has been given to the Chinese, it is better for the money that will be used to book hotels to be channelled to suffering war veterans, we would rather not have the meeting,” said Matemadanda.

Last year, war veterans met with Mugabe and aired their grievances demanding among other things access to land, school fees for their children and also health benefits.

However, Tapfumaneyi told the State media that so far nothing has been done to improve the welfare of war veterans who he said continue losing their land to corrupt individuals.

“Numerous land displacements have occurred, and the president addressed that issue at length, saying nobody should be removed from their allocated land procedurally. The complaints are so many that the documentation involved is a nightmare! There is floor-to-ceiling paperwork, and the ministry is understaffed.

“Over 2 627 land applications have been received from war veterans, war collaborators, ex-detainees and widows of veterans.

“On the other hand, 106 war veterans, 26 war collaborators and six widows have been arbitrarily displaced from their pieces of land,” said Tapfumaneyi.

Amid relentless purges, during a meeting with Mugabe in April last year, the ex-combatants demanded that the president reins in the ruling party’s national disciplinary committee (NDC), as well as its commissariat, which they accused of dividing the party through “unwarranted” suspensions.

The war veterans also declared that they were the rightful custodians of Zanu PF’s ideological orientation, also arguing that the party’s central committee should be responsible for ensuring discipline in the party, and not the NDC.

However, as things stand Mugabe has not tinkered with the commissariat much to the chagrin of war veterans who regard themselves as stakeholders in Zanu PF.

“The issue of monarchies or dynasties is no longer about war veterans alone so is the issue of the commissariat department. Look at what has happened. We are now talking about three vice presidents, why? We have a country where a top civil servant is dressed down with the president sleeping. This now needs all Zimbabweans to say enough is enough,” said Matemadanda.

However, Tapfumaneyi appeared to suggest in the interview with the State media that ZNLWVA is not representative of all former freedom fighters. – Daily News