ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) secretary for lands George Matenda yesterday said the former fighters were angry that the association’s chairperson Chris Mutsvangwa and secretary-general Victor Matemadanda insulted President Robert Mugabe and his wife.
Matenda was speaking in Harare on the sidelines of a meeting held by a faction that says it has taken over from Mutsvangwa and Matemadanda.
The meeting was attended by George Mlala, whom the faction says is now the ZNLWVA’s interim deputy chairperson. The group is believed to be aligned to the G40 faction in Zanu PF.
Matenda accused Mutsvangwa and Matemadanda of insulting the First Family — a crime which he said was punishable with death during war times.
“If we were at war we would have killed them and they know it. You cannot insult the First Family,” he said.
“It is only people like Rugare Gumbo who have done it before and that is why they are in the cold, yet we see Mutsvangwa and Matemadanda doing the same.”
In a statement, the ZNLWVA faction applauded the Zanu PF politburo decision to suspend Mutsvangwa and his wife Monica.
“We are heavily annoyed by the display of arrogance and defiant behaviour by Victor Matemadanda of unleashing insults towards the First Family while Headman Moyo stood aloof,” the statement said.
“These juvenile politicians are both members of the central committee and pretend to be loyal to the president, Robert Mugabe; we can no longer allow them further interference with affairs of war veterans association.
“As a result of such shameful and deceptive behaviour by these misguided elements in the association, [the] war veterans’ leadership is calling upon its conscious minded comrades to desist from this uncultured tendency.”
Meanwhile, Matenda also took a swipe at former vice-president Mujuru for forming her own party – Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF).
He said ZimPF was Mujuru’s project to get money from the donor community.
“The president [Robert Mugabe] said it. Whether you call it People First, second or third; no one from Zanu PF will succeed in forming their own party. If they want they can go ahead and do so. Mujuru wants to suck money from the Americans,” Matenda alleged.
Mujuru’s party is believed to be backed by a number of senior war veterans.