Govt, war vets showdown looms

THE Christopher Mutsvangwa-led executive of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) has demanded a forensic audit of the War Veterans ministry, amid claims of massive looting of school fees for former fighters’ children.

Source: Govt, war vets showdown looms – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 24, 2016

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

The group also distanced itself from the planned nationwide consultative exercise that seeks to create a new association for the former freedom fighters.

ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya accused the government of “operating like a two-headed viper”.

“How do they explain the idea of expelling war veterans through one door and then seek to bring them back by the back-door?”

“We are happy with being expelled from G40 and have no regrets. If anything, the expulsions have allowed us to operate with a national stature and we will continue to demand that the ideals of the liberation struggle are realised including the democracy we all crave for,” he said.

Mahiya said the envisaged meetings were a waste of time.

“Our members should not take part because they are going to be used in the continued looting of funds that has been going on. They have looted money meant for our children’s school fees and burials of dying comrades.

“We actually think an audit of the ministry is in order. There has been systematic looting of money due to war veterans and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission should be allowed to look into the ministry’s books. Millions should be missing.”

Contacted for comment over the allegations, War Veterans’ ministry permanent secretary, Walter Tapfumaneyi, said: “We have been talking to them and nothing has been imposed. Especially Mahiya, but they are entitled to their opinion, so let them do what they want.”

The government’s plan to prop up a faction of the former fighters, led by Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene, seems to have hit troubled waters, as Mutsvangwa’s group still claims to be the bona-fide leaders of the war veterans.

Mahiya accused Tapfumaneyi of interference in the internal affairs of the war veterans associations.

“He has no right to interfere, and the funny thing is, Tapfumaneyi and his cohorts have not said anything or shown interest in the Zipra Veterans’ Trust. To us, it raises a lot of questions about government’s intentions,” he said.

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