By Blessings Chidakwa
Zanu-PF national secretary for War Veterans, War Collaborators, ex-Detainees and Restrictees Cde Victor Matemadanda has urged war veterans to work tirelessly to ensure that the party wins resoundingly in the upcoming elections.
He said war veterans’ welfare and inclusion into party structures was not an urgent priority than for them to peacefully campaign for the party’s First Secretary and President Mnangagwa.
Addressing war veterans from the province in Chinhoyi over the weekend, Cde Matemadanda said a resounding victory would show the world that President Mnangagwa is not an opportunist, but a well-fitting and deserving leader.
“I urge war veterans, war collaborators and ex-detainees to campaign peacefully to make sure that the President wins resoundingly in a credible and fair election.
“Our membership including those who were not even in party structures prior to 1980 elections campaigned so well, zanu-pf and PF-Zapu won a combined 77 out of 80 seats. We want that to happen again this year.
“At the moment do not worry about being included into party structures, but to campaign at grassroots level. Yes, you should get into the party structures, but at the moment worry about a landslide victory for our President and the ruling party,” he said.
Cde Matemadanda said the war veterans’ plight would be looked into after the elections.
“We have an economy that had been run down (and) it will be useless to talk about welfare issues now. So when things are normal, when the economy picks up, you will get your dues.
Cde Matemadanda said the party was going to assist all cadres who had not been properly recognised after independence.
“We are starting a process of vetting cadres who had not been properly recognised at law in terms of benefits. We want to make it a priority to vet them and prepare that whatever comes out after vetting they will immediately benefit,” he said.
He said the party was embracing all freedom fighters regardless of which faction they had been aligned to before the new dispensation.
“At some point some war veterans chose to be aligned to Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa, others preferred expelled Makoni South MP Manditawepi Chimene, George Mlala and now Cde Khumalo. That is not what we are representing, we represent welfare of all freedom fighters.
“Don’t come to me saying this one belongs to this faction that is not what the President tasked me to do. My job is to see that the welfare of every freedom fighter is well catered for,” he said.
Cde Matemadanda warned those plotting to march to State House to demand packages because former President Mugabe had been given one.
“Mugabe’s package should not be misplaced that Government has money. I know of a section aligned to G40 cabal who wants to march to State House saying we also want packages (and) in turn tarnish our name,” he said.