By Elita Chikwati
War Veterans in Mashonaland East Province have joined their Mashonaland West counterparts’ quest to recall Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) chairman Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa on allegations of sowing divisions and undermining their patron, President Mnangagwa.
Cde Mutsvangwa also stands accused of alienating himself from the membership of the association after being appointed President Mnangagwa’s special advisor, a post he no longer holds.
War veterans in Bulawayo said the decision required a national executive meeting, while Midlands chairperson Cde Virginia Mpaso said their executive would meet on Monday to discuss the issue.
ZNLWVA Mashonaland East provincial chairman Cde Daniel Sigauke last night said their membership was disturbed by the allegations being levelled against their national chairman and were going to meet over him.
He said it was unfortunate that Cde Mutsvangwa was sowing divisions at a time when the President was working towards reviving the economy.
“As Mashonaland East, we are saying it is unfortunate at this hour; the transitional period where we are working to stabilise things that Cde Mutsvangwa says bad things.
“It is unfortunate that Cde Mutsvangwa says that Cde Mugabe was better after all what we as war veterans went through.
“We were victimised. As a province, we rally behind President Mnangagwa and his policies, mostly because there is opposition and land barons who do not want to expose corruption. He (Cde Mutsvangwa) is derailing development.
“We have called for an emergency meeting and among other issues, we will discuss Cde Mutsvangwa’s issue,” he said.
Cde Sigauke said if Cde Mutsvangwa said the things being attributed to him, then they consider that as his personal, but unacceptable opinion.
“The President has done a lot to realign the economy and it will be asking for too much to start complaining at this early stage,” he said. Cde Mpaso said they were yet to decide on the matter.
“As Midlands, we have not yet met. We are meeting on Monday and we will also discuss this issue,” she said.
ZNLWVA provincial chairperson for Bulawayo Cde Cephas Ncube said the decision to recall national chairman Cde Mutsvangwa is a national issue, which requires a full national executive meeting.
Masvingo chairman Cde Ignatius Murindi confirmed that they would meet today (Friday) and a position would have been made by afternoon.
Harare chairman, Cde Hoyini Bhila said while the province had not yet called for a meeting, the general feeling was that most members were siding with Mashonaland West for recalling Cde Mutsvangwa.
He said Cde Mutsvangwa had deserted his fellow comrades and only became vocal when he would have been affected personally instead of fighting for the interests of the war veterans.
“Personally, I totally support Mashonaland West stance. If they (Mashonaland West) made observations, they have a right to recall him. Their observations are genuine and not allegations. It’s unfortunate that when things were bad for the war veterans, Cde Mutsvangwa was busy travelling out of the country.
“He has not been attending meetings. He is someone who always comes out when personally affected. He is ego-centric and always raises issues that have nothing to do the welfare of the war veterans,” he said.
Efforts to get comments from Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South Cdes Sonny Mguni and Section Ncube respectively were fruitless as their phones were not available.
ZNLWVA provincial chairperson for Mashonaland West Province Cde Cornelius Muoni confirmed the resolution by the war veterans.
He, however, said that the provincial executive was yet to write to him.
Responding to news of the Mashonaland West provincial executive decision to recall Cde Mutsvangwa, ZNLWVA national spokesperson Cde Douglas Mahiya said the resolution remains a desire until the national executive sat and ratified it.
“If it is their desire to recall the national chairman Cde Chris Mutsvangwa, their decision can only be respected if all the other provinces agree. It would have been wiser if they had consulted other provinces. Their desire can only be ratified by a full national executive meeting which the national chairman (Cde Mutsvangwa), who is the only one mandated by our constitution to call for meetings, calls for such.
“It is the prerogative of the national chairman to call for national executive meetings other than those that are already scheduled. As it is now, the Mashonaland West resolution remains wishful thinking. Bear in mind, Cde Mutsvangwa has a High Court order declaring him the chairman of the ZNLWVA until our national congress in 2022 or 2023,” said Cde Mahiya.