ZIMBABWE – Some members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) yesterday passed a vote of no confidence against their chairman Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa and three other executive members for allegedly disrespecting President Mugabe.
They said the suspended members were bringing the association’s name into disrepute.
Addressing a Press conference last night, war veterans led by ZNLWVA secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Mandi Chimene said they had resolved to boot out Cde Mutsvangwa and his wife Monica, secretary-general Cde Victor Matemadanda and member of the executive Cde Headman Moyo.
Cde Chimene said Cde Mutsvangwa should be removed as the Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees.
She said war veterans wanted to make it clear that they were not part of the wayward and functionally sabotaged leadership of Cde Mutsvangwa.
They listed a plethora of issues that led them to part ways with their “wayward” leader.
The fallout came as result of recent utterances by Cde Mutsvangwa in the Press in which he used abusive language against other party and Government officials.
Cde Mutsvangwa is accused of disrespecting President Mugabe as First Secretary and President of zanu-pf and patron of ZNLWVA.
“Mutsvangwa failed to conduct the affairs of the association as directed by our patron his Excellency, President R.G. Mugabe, to mobilise, unite and restructure of war veterans association,” said Cde Chimene.
“Despite having been given guidance by the council of elders and JOC (Joint Operations Command) recommendations, the national chairman Cde Mutsvangwa chose to do his own way.”
Cde Mutsvangwa is also accused of denying the majority of the national executive committee rights to freely make contributions in the affairs of the association.
Further, Cde Mutsvangwa was alleged to be using divide-and-rule tactics in running the affairs of the association and unilaterally approving the dismissal of some members in the national executive without following proper procedures.
In some instances, Cde Mutsvangwa would allegedly come up with “spurious allegations” labelling some members as opposition MDC-T members.
Cde Chimene said Cde Mutsvangwa and his wife were taking the association as their personal property to pursue individual interests.
“We will not defend individual interests,” she said.
“We are not part of his agenda. We want to say to the President the person you gave us is not doing anything to help, but sowing seeds of discord in the association.”
Cde Chimene said war veterans’ children were failing to attend school, while the general upkeep of war veterans was deplorable despite revelations by Cde Mutsvangwa that $6 million had been availed for those purposes.
“Each time we meet he will be bragging about his stay in China (as the ambassador of Zimbabwe) and his chrome mining ventures instead of coming up with a policy of empowering the war veterans,” she said.
“We do not know who are being given those empowerment projects, maybe its just for the few whom we do not know.”
Cde Mutsvangwa said he had no comment on the issue.
Cde Matemadanda dismissed the vote-of-no-confidence as “nonsense, unconstitutional and useless”.
He said Cde Chimene, who chaired the meeting that passed the resolution, had since ceased to be a member of the war veterans association’s executive after she failed to attend three consecutive meetings since she became a Resident Minister for Manicaland last year.
Cde Matemadanda said there was no quorum at the meeting.
“Only the chairman, the vice chairman and the secretary general can call for such a meeting,” he said. “They were supposed to make one of these people call the meeting.
“Not to just come from Chiweshe, get into Harare and call for the vote of no confidence as if its a wife divorcing her husband. Izvi ndezve chibhawa bhawa. They may say that they have a splinter because we are still in charge and going ahead with our programmes.”
Cde Matemadanda said war veterans who presented their case to First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe at her rally in Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central, in the afternoon were not members of the executive.
He said some of them had been suspended by their provinces for different issues.
Cde Matemadanda said the ministry of war veterans had no budget and the $6 million alleged by Cde Chimene to have been abused had not been allocated to any ministry.
Cde Monica Mutsvangwa and Cde Moyo could not be reached for comment.