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War vets to hold elective congress

Zanu-PF cadres should not take directives given by the rogue leadership of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, senior ruling party officials have said, adding that a congress will be held to elect a new leadership for the organisation.

This was said by Zanu-PF Secretary for War Veterans Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, and Central Committee member Colonel (Retired) Tshinga Dube.

Dr Sekeremayi is also Defence Minister while Rtd Col Dube is Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees Minister.

They were speaking in Bindura yesterday at the Mashonald Central leg of the countrywide President Youth Interface Meetings.

The remarks came after Zanu-PF National Secretary for the Youth League Kudzanayi Chipanga asked the pair to clarify matters relating to war veterans and party members.

Chipanga said, "It is difficult, not only for the youth, but for other party members to know which war veteran to work with on various party programmes.

"We want to give audience to Sekeramayi as the war veteran's leader in the party Politburo and Tshinga Dube as the Minister Responsible for the War Veterans in Government. We are saying many people are claiming to be war veteran's representing Zanu-PF and this is getting our people confused."

Dr Sekeramayi responded by singling out Messrs Christopher Mutsvangwa, Douglas Mahiya, Headman Moyo, Victor Matemadanda and Francis Nhando, saying Zanu-PF members should not pay attention to these five as they had been expelled from Zanu-PF for using the ZNLWVA to bring the ruling party into disrepute and to denigrate President Mugabe and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe.

Dr Sekeramayi said no true war veteran would denigrate the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

"The infamous five of Mutsvangwa, Mahiya, Matemadanda, Nhando, and Headman Moyo should not move around and purport to represent Zanu-PF," he said.

"We can not tolerate them because they are not members of the party. As a result, there is now need for the war veterans to elect a new leadership. These five are aware that there are plans for an elective congress and we know they will try to move around to organise a congress to elect the war veteran's executive, but I say please do not associate yourselves with them. It is just a group of five people.

"I say as a leader of war veterans in the Politburo that war veterans must respect the structures and ideology of the party"

Dr Sekeramayi said Government had recognised the need for ex-combatants and other people involved in the liberation war effort to be structured and hence formation of the ZNLWVA.

But, he said, it appeared the organisation was being led by power-hungry individuals.

"We had the likes of (Margaret) Dongo and later Jabulani Sibanda. Sibanda thought he had the support of the war veterans and was more powerful than President Mugabe," he said.

"Sibanda was expelled from the party for his wayward behaviour that is when we saw Mutsvangwa come in.

‘‘Like Sibanda, Mutsvangwa also thought he had become more powerful than the President and he was also expelled."

Rtd Col Dube said a congress to elect a new ZNLWVA executive was on the cards.

"I am happy Sekeramayi, the Secretary for War Vets in the Politburo has made it clear the position of the party," he said.

"I would be a moron to work against the decision of the party. We should work and prepare for elections to choose leaders of the war veterans maybe this will kill the problem we are having once and for all.

"We should take orders from Sekeramayi as he too takes orders from the President on how to guide the war veterans."

Rtd Col Dube also said he would not put his head on the block to protect rogue elements, saying he was subservient to the wishes of the party.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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