Government will not recognise the Mandiitawepi Chimene-led war veterans structures and will continue working with those that existed before the expulsion of erstwhile war veterans chairman Mr Christopher Mutsvangwa, Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees Minister Tshinga Dube has said.Addressing members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) from Midlands and Masvingo provinces on Sunday, Minister Dube said Government does not support parallel structures, some of whom were set up by Cde George Mlala as a follow up to the solidarity meeting which the freedom fighters convened with President Mugabe.
Minister Dube said the ministry does not recognise the outcome of the meeting and the suggestions of Cdes Chimene and Mlala as they were not formally invited to the meeting which he said was sponsored by dirty money. He said Mr Mutsvangwa and other five expelled executive members were still members of the association although they had outstanding issues to resolve with the party and the courts.
“As Government, we do not approve of parallel structures. It is a lie to say President Mugabe said there shall be parallel structures. What Cde Chimene and Cde Mlala did is null and void. We do not recognise the structures that they set up. If Mlala wanted his own structures, he should have registered his own association and we would not have problems with that. Whatever was said during the solidarity meeting was not part of our programme as a ministry, because you all know where the money that sponsored that meeting came from. The meeting was not formally communicated to us as a ministry,” he said.
Cde Dube said Cde Chimene has since conceded that they erred in setting up parallel structures and fanning divisions among war veterans.
Cde Chimene could not be reached for comment. He said President Mugabe wanted to see war veterans united and speaking with one voice.
“The decision to expel some of the comrades who might have made a mistake was not the President’s. In my view, there were other people who wanted them out. President Mugabe understands war veterans very much because we were together in the trenches therefore, he is cognisant of their plight,” he said.
Cde Dube said Government had set up a steering committee to run the affairs of the association pending conclusion of the Mutsvangwa case that would be led by Cde Robert Ncube and would be assisted by Cdes Chinengundu and George Mlala. In August, Cde Mlala came to Midlands where he set up a parallel structure which he said was now the officially recognised provincial executive.
Cde Lot Chihwereva Mpofu of Mberengwa was appointed interim chairperson, deputised by Cde Noah Kasikai of Gweru while Cde Stephen Moyo was appointed secretary-general in the parallel structures.