ZANU PF has set guidelines for the establishment of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle League structures ahead of its maiden elective conference next month.
The elective conference will run from 4 to 6 August.
The wing comprises 40 positions. This comes after the Youth and Women Leagues members successfully had their respective elective conferences.
Speaking at a special press briefing in Harare yesterday, Zanu PF national spokesperson Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa, who is also the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association chairperson, said the party has identified all veterans of the Second Chimurenga which brought about the country’s Independence.
“The process is coming after 42 years of Independence, but here we are. We now have a proper register of a complete set of the constitutionally identified combatants of the Second Chimurenga war which brought about our Independence,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
He said the constituencies are those who formed the two liberation war armies, ZANLA and ZIPRA, and participated in the war of liberation; those who were imprisoned, detained or restricted for political reasons during the war of liberation, non–combatant cadres and war collaborators.
“We really appreciate the efforts by the Second Republic to make sure that we form an organ of the party constituting those four elements which participated in the liberation struggle.
“From the onset of Independence, we should have been part of Zanu PF, unfortunately that was not the case. We had to go through a struggle to get accepted,” Cde Mutsvangwa said.
Speaking at the same occasion, the party’s national Political Commissar, Cde Mike Bimha, said the league is now an integral part of Zanu PF.
In terms of Article 19 of the party constitution and the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act, the league shall be constituted by four constituencies.
Cde Bimha clarified that the formation of the Veterans League does not affect associations of the four categories as currently constituted.
The electoral college, he said, will be constituted by registered veterans of Zanu PF as appearing in the party register.
“The elections will follow the normal pattern where members of the districts elect provincial and the later elect members of the National Executive Committee.
Owing to the unique composition of the Veterans League, the posts of chairpersons, Secretaries for the Commissariat and Security shall be reserved for the actual fighters.
According to the election road map, 20 seats are reserved for combatants, and the remaining 20 seats will be shared among the Ex-Political Detainees, Non-combatant cadres and War Collaborators.
“Where combatants do not make sufficient numbers to occupy all their 20 seats, the remaining positions will be filled by members from the other three categories,” Cde Bimha said.
He said only successfully vetted Veterans shall participate during the elections, while veterans who qualify for election into the league must be confirmed Zanu PF members.
Cde Bimha said veterans in the main-wing and the Women’s league are free to compete for posts in the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle League on condition that they relinquish their current posts in the event that they become successful in the Veterans of the League elections.
War Veterans will elect candidates for their 20 seats separately while the other classes will elect their 20 seats separately as well.
Winning candidates, Cde Bimha said, will then be seconded into a pool of nominees.
Thereafter, Cde Bimha indicated that having 40 nominees, the positions will be allocated through a Zebra system having taken care of the three positions reserved for the combatants.
The conduct of elections will consider representatives from both genders.
Before the national executive elective conference, members will hold district and provincial elections.
“For the national elections, each province will elect four candidates from those elected into the provincial executive. The four candidates will then contest for positions in the national executive.
“The election of the four candidates will take into account two seats for the combatants and two seats for other three categories”.
The 40 candidates from the 10 provinces shall meet for election into Veterans League National executive committee at the Veterans League National conference.
The district elections will be held as from July 23-24, while provincial elections will be held from 30-31 July for nominations for national executive candidates.
The party’s Secretary for the War Veterans league, Cde Douglas Mahiya, commended the party leadership for ensuring the vetting of the liberation struggle members becomes a reality.