PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s government has threatened to withdraw monthly
allowances and other benefits for defiant Zimbabwe National Liberation
War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) leaders who are refusing to recognise
the government-appointed new executive.
War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube told the NewsDay yesterday that members of the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led executive risked losing their benefits if they remained defiant.
Mutsvangwa and his executive have refused to recognise the government-appointed executive led by Robert Ncube.
A group of 60 war veterans, mostly securocrats, including Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services boss Paradzai Zimondi, Police Deputy Commissioner-General Levi Sibanda and Zimbabwe National Army chief of staff, Douglas Nyikayaramba, reportedly met last week and replaced Mutsvangwa with Ncube, a retired colonel, ahead of the former fighters’ proposed congress.
“What these guys are doing is making our work difficult. This is not of my making, but it involves many people,” Dube said.
“We have war veterans, some who are senior from the army, the President’s Office, the police, the prison service and other State institutions. But you have to understand that they (the Mutsvangwa executive) were not involved in this new leadership and obvious they would try to resist, but it won’t work.”
The Mutsvangwa executive severed ties with Mugabe after it released a damning communiqué calling on the Zanu PF leader to resign for allegedly running down the country.
But, Dube insisted government was no longer recognising Mutsvangwa as the ZNLWVA chairperson as he had been expelled from the ruling Zanu PF party alongside his deputy Headman Moyo, secretary-general Victor Matemadanda, and spokesperson Douglas Mahiya, among others.
“If they are saying they are an independent association, then we will stop dealing with them on welfare issues. How can you deal with them when their foundation is shaking and they have no alignment to any political ideology? In this case, the association was founded by Zanu PF and its interests are to serve the Zanu PF party,” Dube said.
“While as government we attend to the needs of all war veterans, this association has its tentacles inclined to Zanu PF. You can’t separate the two, so when the leadership of such an association no longer represents the interests of the principal, it is no longer autonomous.
“When the association says it is autonomous in its operations, we will be talking about its day-to-day affairs, not on fundamentals
such as who leads it. That is a baby of Zanu PF and government because they are there as a welfare institution guided by the ethos of the party (Zanu PF). My ministry has everything to do with that organisation. If we don’t, we will not take care of their welfare as well.” newsday