15 April 2019

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Drafts War Vets Into Party Organs

Photo: Kudakwashe Hunda/The Herald
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association Secretary-General Victor Matemadanda (centre) flanked by Spokesperson Douglas Mahiya (left), Vice Chairman Headman Moyo( right) and other provincial executive members.

Zanu-PF has moved to formalise the incorporation of members of the main wing war veterans association into party structures, making them eligible to contest for party positions.

This is according to a recent party circular which was addressed to the party's10 provinces by the Zanu PF commissariat.

Until this development, the Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association has been a voluntary welfare group for combatants of the country's liberation struggle back in the 70s.

According to the circular, party members coming from the militant group will be considered for posts of "chairman and or vice chairman and political commissar and or deputy political commissar".

"You will recall that the December 2017, Zanu PF Extra-Ordinary Congress endorsed a resolution on the elevation of War Veterans of the liberation struggle both in the party and government," read the circular.

"Pursuant to this resolution, you are by way of this circular directed to ensure that war veterans are incorporated into the main wing party structures from cell to provincial level in view of the restructuring exercise.

"In this regard, war veterans should be considered for the post of chairman and vice chairman in the event that if a chairperson is non-war veteran, then the deputy should be a war veteran or vice versa.

"The same should happen to political commissar and deputy political commissar. The posts of political commissar and deputy political commissar from cell to provincial levels should preferably be filled by war veterans."

Zimbabwe's main wing war veterans group has been a vocal force in national politics and have influenced past events in the country.

War veterans led the violent seizure of land from the hands of the white minority land owners inside the past 19 years and have been also linked to Zanu PF's most violent election campaigns.

Their persistent demands for their pound of flesh for liberating the country saw the then Robert Mugabe led administration pressured to release Z$50 000 pay-outs to each member in the form of gratuities in what is believed to have triggered the country's economic free-fall.

They went on to fall out with Mugabe 2017 after openly rallying behind then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed him.

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