THE Government will not recognise the war veterans’ structures being set up by Cde Mandiitawepi Chimene’s supporters and will continue working with those that existed before the expulsion of the erstwhile war veterans chairman, Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Addressing members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association from the Midlands and Masvingo Provinces in Gweru on Sunday, the Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators and Ex-Political Detainees, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, said the Government does not support parallel structures.
Some of the structures were set up by Cde George Mlala as a follow up to the solidarity meeting which the freedom fighters convened with President Mugabe in June.
Rtd Col Dube said the ministry wants war veterans to unite.
He said former war veterans chairperson, Cde Mutsvangwa and five other expelled executive members were still members of the association although they had outstanding issues to resolve with the party and the courts.
He said Cde Chimene had conceded that they erred in setting up parallel structures and fanning divisions among war veterans.
Rtd Col Dube said President Mugabe wanted to see war veterans united and speaking with one voice.
“The decision to expel some of the comrades who might have made a mistake wasn’t the President’s. In my view there were other people who wanted them out.
“The President understands war veterans very much because we were together in the trenches and is therefore cognisant of their plight,” he said.
Rtd Col Dube said the Government had set up a steering committee to run the affairs of the association pending conclusion of the Mutsvangwa case. The committee would be led by Cde Robert Ncube assisted by Cdes Chinengundu and Mlala.
In August, Cde Mlala came to the Midlands where he set up a parallel structure which he said was now the officially recognised provincial executive.
Cde Lot Chihwereva Mpofu of Mberengwa was appointed interim chairperson, deputised by Cde Noah Kasikai of Gweru while Cde Stephen Moyo was appointed secretary. herald