LEADERS of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association have scoffed at suggestions they have reached a political understanding with MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Source: No alliance with Tsvangirai: War vets – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 10, 2016
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
ZNLWVA spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya said, while they continued to receive sympathy from a cross-section of politicians across the divide, there have decided to “rise above partisan politics”.
“Events in the last few months have opened our eyes to a whole new world. Things we did not know, but the arrests and harassments have also provided a window of opportunity to those who have fought Zanu PF for years to approach us in sympathy with our situation,” he said in statement yesterday.
“We could not deny them a chance to feel for us, but we remain former freedom fighters, schooled in the Zanu ideology that brought independence to this country.”
Mahiya, ZNLWVA vice-chairperson, Headman Moyo, secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda, national commissar, Francis Nhando and Harare provincial leader, Hoyini Bhila are out on bail awaiting trial after being arrested in connection with a communiqué that trashed President Robert Mugabe’s leadership.
Media reports say Mahiya and Matemadanda met Tsvangirai, for as yet undisclosed reasons. But the ZNLWVA spokesperson said there was never a “secret meeting”.
“Zimbabweans from all walks of life attended court hearings involving leaders of the war veterans. Some have come to our homes to empathise with us, just as it is in African custom when you neighbour has met with misfortune,” Mahiya said.
“But there has never been a secret meeting with anyone for whatever reason. However, I must state that some political parties think because we have been expelled from Zanu PF, there is a chance that we might accept their membership. We have decided to stick with association business and that is where we will remain.”
The former freedom fighters also scoffed at moves by the government to use “underhand tactics to replace the leadership of the association”.
“The counter revolutionaries think they have captured Zanu PF and are now moving in for the war veterans. The intention was revealed in Chiweshe (at a rally addressed by First Lady Grace Mugabe). There are no changes to the leadership of the war veterans and counter-revolutionary attempts to subvert and divide the ZNLWVA, mislead and confuse Zimbabweans have been thoroughly embarrassed by the failure of the (Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister) Mandi Chimene project,” the statement said.
Mahiya said ZNLWVA did not operate at government’s discretion, but on its constitution, with the ministry responsible for the welfare of war veterans “only mandated with administering the Act.”