Fungi Kwaramba 10 March 2017
HARARE – War veterans banned from convening a meeting to discuss
Zimbabwe’s deepening political and economic crisis have vowed to wage a
war against President Robert Mugabe.
On Wednesday, police announced that they would not allow the ex-freedom
fighters’ meeting scheduled for today to proceed because the veterans did
not meet the requirements of the draconian Public Order and Security Act –
popularly known as Posa.
In reaction, Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association (ZLWVA)
secretary-general Victor Matemadanda came out guns blazing, taking offence
with the fact that the War Veterans ministry was organising a meeting with
Mugabe in April at a time theirs has been outlawed.
“What is the purpose of the meeting with the president when there is no
fulfilment of the previous meeting resolutions? Why should we not use that
money that will be used during the meeting to pay bills and take care of
war veterans’ welfare, why don’t they use that money do something
meaningful for war veterans?” he questioned.
“We don’t see the need for a meeting with the president when the first
meeting did not yield anything. These meetings will not solve anything,”
Matemadanda said, adding that “people have to know that government is
trying to stop this thing but we are fighting, whether it is going to be
postponed but we will have it one day, whether they like it or not”.
Matemadanda alleged that War Vets ministry secretary Walter Tapfumanei was
being used by some powerful elements in the deeply divided ruling Zanu PF
to silence war veterans who are not only critical of Mugabe and his wife,
Grace, but have also declared their support for vice president Emmerson
“There is someone who wants to make himself the king. What we do not know
is whether he is banning meetings of war veterans on his own because he is
a mere permanent secretary who does not have the power to block our
association meetings,” Matemadanda said.
“What we know is that whenever government gives him money, he goes on
programmes, wasting and abusing money. We know that he has been given
money, he is not worried about our welfare, can he please let us do our
thing, we are not talking to anyone but war veterans. The next time we
will be taking him to court. Tapfumanei has a lot of skeletons in his
cupboard. He is trying to look as if he works harder than the minister,”
“He is trying to make out-of-court settlements as we speak.”
Matemadanda vowed that their meeting was going to proceed on dates to be
“He (Tapfumanei) is the most junior permanent secretary. He is not going
to be bigger than anyone. We do not want to release his dirty files, he is
desperate to have the cover of the president, but we will expose them,”
fumed an angry Matemadanda.
Tapfumanei said: “Let him say what he wants to say. We did not block their
meeting, we issued that statement after a Cabinet meeting and thus to
subject me as an individual is malicious and vindictive. I am not the one
who is responsible for stopping their meeting.”
“Let them bring those skeletons, it’s more than a year now, let them do
that. I did not get where I am by accident,” he said.
Tapfumanei said Matmandada and his allies were welcome to attend the
meeting with the president “because we are not discriminating against any
The former liberation war fighters discarded the embattled and
increasingly frail nonagenarian as the patron of their association in
Tapfumanei said government was addressing issues raised by war vets in
their meeting with Mugabe last year.
“Yielding results is a process, there is nothing that happens overnight,
it is a process and we are ticking the boxes to make sure that we meet
those objectives. We will report progress during the (April) meeting,”
The relationship between Mugabe and the war veterans, dating back to
October 1975 when they catapulted him to power through the famous Mgagao
Declaration, seems to have irretrievably broken down.
The Mgagao Declaration resulted in Mugabe taking over power of Zanu after
the removal of Ndabaningi Sithole and has remained in power until now.