Monday 18 March 2024


Police in Bulawayo broke a planned meeting called by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) on Saturday, claiming the gathering may lead to violence between its ‘warring factions.’

ZNLWVA Chairperson, Andreas Ethan Mathibela, alleges that Zanu PF is behind the police action, saying “police work with the ruling party.”

Police had approved the Saturday meeting, causing Mathibela to claim a group of people aligned to Zanu PF were distorting the meeting agenda and authorisation.

Last week, some war veterans believed to be ZANLA and loyal to former chairperson and ex-Minister of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs, Christopher Mutsvangwa attempted to discourage other comrades from attending the meeting organised by Mathibela’s executive.

As a result, some speculated the meeting boycott could lead to a split in the ZNLWVA. Read:

In an interview with CITE, ZNLWVA chairperson claimed the meeting was stopped by Zanu PF and its agents who did not want the veterans to discuss their welfare.

“Zanu interrupted (the meeting) at the end of the day. It was cancelled, isn’t the police work with the ruling party so they just stopped it. The reason was (the police claimed they) were called. They (police) said ‘they are threatening us, saying if we allow you to hold that meeting there will be violence,’” Mathibela said.

“I then gave them an example of Dynamos and Highlanders, who when playing football, violence was a likelihood but continue playing. Why don’t they stop these teams yet they come up with such reasons to stop our meetings when we are very few.”

Mathibela said he indicated to police that the war vets association was “not having a rally” but were “talking about welfare.”

However the police’s banning of their meeting, illustrated to the ZNLWVA executive that “there is someone who is telling them not to give unnecessary mileage to Mathibela.”

“(They were probably saying) Mathibela will be more popular. Isn’t these people are clamouring for autonomy, isn’t they want to contain us but we are not for that kind of subjugation,” Mathibela said.

Mathibela said despite such interference, the war vets association would continue with its planned action and cater for the welfare of all veterans.

“The fate of the association rests solely with the constituency itself, whoever will bring something substantive, of which this has been what some of us have been doing but others want to bring partisan politics into play when we are talking about welfare,” said the national chairperson.

The national chairperson claimed he commanded a “lot of respect and following,” which was why his rivals felt threatened by his influence.

“That’s why we see this fear in those minorities because the limelight is not with them. The way forward is we are not perturbed by such. There’s always competition when you want to do the right thing and obviously jecharists will always want to destroy that,” Mathibela said.

“We are going ahead, we have our programme and a roadmap and we are going ahead.”

Mathibela claimed he knew the ‘destractors’ were aligned to Mutsvangwa but said it was only a matter of time before the former war vets minister’s influence dissipated.

“Are we not talking of (former late president, Robert) Mugabe (who led Zimbabwe for three decades) as history? Everything will come to an end sooner or later, it’s just a matter of time.” CITE


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