By Dumisani Nyoni
BULAWAYO – War Veterans, War Collaborators, Detainees and Restrictees minister Tshinga Dube has disowned the war veterans splinter group led by Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister, Mandi Chineme accusing the group of causing mayhem within Zanu PF.
Chimene and her associates have declared themselves interim leaders of the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association (ZLWVA) since the elected Chris Mutsvangwa leadership fell out with the ruling party early this year for allegedly meddling in the beleagured party’s succession politics and undermining the first family.
Chimene has vowed to defy a High Court ruling interdicting her from exercising any role as war veterans chief.
The vote of no confidence passed against Mutsvangwa, wife Monica and two other executive members – Victor Matemadanda and Headman Moyo – ignited turf wars which have spilled into the courts.
President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF have allowed Chimene to represent war veterans at party gatherings, something that has been viewed an indirect endorsement of the faction.
However, Dube, who replaced Mutsvangwa as substantive war veterans minister when the latter was booted out by President Mugabe, said the Chineme led group was illegally elected, as such, it should be disbanded.
“We must show respect to our courts of law. The judges are recruited by the Judicial Service Commission and sworn in by the President. Ignoring the judgment of the court amounts to criminal contempt. It also shows disloyalty to the President,” Dube told journalists in Bulawayo this week.
“The Ministry, therefore, condemns in the strongest terms the opportunistic machinations by some splinter groups to wrestle control of the War Veterans Associations by unorthodox means in contempt of High Court interdicts specifically barring them from such actions,” he added.
Dube said his Ministry was equally condemning the increasing wayward positions of the Masvingo elected group against the party and its leadership.
“We appeal to all war veterans to give us some chance to introduce structures that will help our organisation to proceed with dignity and purpose. We strongly believe the saying that a thousand friends are too few but one enemy is one too many. We need our fellow comrades to know that,” he said.
Dube said there was a growing rift between the party and a section of the war veterans association.
He said there has been wayward behaviour by some war veterans as evidenced by public pronouncements against the party and its leadership and the circulation of documents like the Blue Ocean and communiqué whose authors are said to be among war veterans.
“Such negative developments affect the party, the war veterans and the stability of the nation itself. It would be wrong to ignore this and act as if nothing has ever happened and hence the Ministry encourages all parties concerned to unite,” he said.
He said the war veterans association cannot claim monopoly of control over all war veterans of the liberation struggle except where they join it voluntarily as a private voluntary organisation.
“Conversely, any group of war veterans is free to form any number of associations of its choice to compete for membership with war veterans association from same client base.”
“Our courts have been drawn to these problems and clearly ruled that a splinter group may not masquerade as representing the main groups,” he said. Radio VOP