Stop public fights, war vets urged •Keep politics from the courts •Use proper organisational channels

Cde Mutsvangwa

Cde Mutsvangwa

Felex Share Senior Reporter—
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) members, principally the chairman Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa, must desist from public spats and strive to resolve grievances in line with their patron’s call to keep issues out of the media, analysts have said.The sentiments follow a public spat between Cde Mutsvangwa and a faction led by Cde Mandi Chimene, as well as last week’s embarrassing scenes that saw anti-riot police use water cannons and teargas to disperse war veterans who had gathered in Harare for an unsanctioned meeting.


Cde Mutsvangwa was subsequently rapped by ZNLWVA patron President Mugabe for misleading the association’s members that the gathering would be addressed by the President who also apologised to all war vets who had been led into the unfortunate clash with the police.

Despite the President’s admonishment, the ZNLWVA leadership still has several cases pending in court, which cases — analysts said — should now be withdrawn so that war veterans can use organisational channels to resolve their disputes as is President Mugabe’s constant refrain.

Respected war veterans, legal experts and political analysts also urged war veterans to always use channels at their disposal to seek redress and desist from taking their internal issues and those of Zanu-PF to the courts.

They said being an affiliate of Zanu-PF and having President Mugabe as their patron, war veterans should use their organisations’ constitution to deal with any grievances while problems within or with Zanu-PF should be resolved in line with the revolutionary party’s constitution.

This comes after ZNLWVA dragged the Home Affairs Minister and the Commissioner-General of Police to court last Friday contesting the banning of their rally the previous day. The war veterans also took Zanu-PF youth leader Cde Kudzai Chipanga to court for making unlawful statements, threatening to fight the liberation fighters. This prompted President Mugabe to intervene, quelling tensions that were simmering after police clashed with war veterans last Thursday.

ZNLWVA was formed in 1980 to mainly look into the needs of demobilised combatants, mostly Zanla and Zipra member. As such, all veterans became members by default and have worked hand-in-hand with Zanu-PF to defend the country’s sovereignty.

Harare Lawyer Mr Terrence Hussein yesterday said the affairs of the party or organisation could not be solved outside the respective entities’ constitutions. “If you remember the case of Kudakwashe Bhasikiti versus Zanu-PF, it was ruled that an issue within an organisation should be solved within that organisation before rushing to the courts because that organisation is better placed to deal with those issues,” he said.

“If you take your issues outside, how do you go back into that organisation and expect to work harmoniously? Its common sense you will exist but with great difficulty,” Mr Hussein said. Respected war veteran Cde Cain Mathema said comrades should always engage each other with respect.

“It is wrong to take each other to court because we are in this thing together and we have channels to discuss any differences,” he said. “There is no need to rush to the papers or the courts, it weakens us. No one alone can achieve anything so let’s not attack each other in the public. The President has spoken and we do not want any more nonsense. Let us respect the Commander-in-chief and be disciplined.”

President Mugabe is on record urging party members to follow structures within the party to get concerns addressed not through the courts. Political analyst, Mr Alexander Rusero said having President Mugabe as their patron, the war veterans should not soil the image of Zanu-PF by taking their issues to the courts.

He said: “Taking the routes of the courts amplifies the discord in the party and it is not proper to a political party of Zanu-PF’s standing. It tarnishes the image of the party and that of the leadership and people end up seeing them as a quarrelsome party than the mature and formidable force that brought independence.”

Another war veteran and legal expert Mr Sobusa Gula-Ndebele said the war vets should always stand guided by the principles of the liberation struggle. “They should not allow people to be used or divided,” he said.

“They should always base their approach to the values and principles of the liberation struggle, which were always commitment to the national interest which was about true social, political and economic freedom for all in Zimbabwe.”

War veteran Ambassador Agrippa Mutambara said some members needed serious orientation. “The Zanu-PF we had during the war toed the party line and there were clear channels with problems being solved internally,” he said, “It will be incorrect to take individuals to court.’’

War veteran Cde Alexander Kanengoni said while it was wrong for comrades to fight each other, it was also imperative for the ruling party to restore confidence in the structures that are supposed to deal with grievances raised.

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  • Grace Jones

    As long as outsiders interfere with the business of the war vets we are going to see them defend their territory. Chimene is a creation of outsiders. The tear gas is a creation outsider. Bigup to the war vets for being able to defend their territory Pamberi nemi Ma comrade . Pamberi nekusupporta musangano wenyu and protecting it from outsiders

    • Nyandoro Kunzwi

      We must be reminded that some wars vets are in many government structures as leaders in government, like Cdes Mutsvangwa and Chimene. If they have different views politically, this affects our governing unity.Also be reminded that political parties created ZIPRA and ZANLA, which today are represented by ZNLWVA. So the party has always been supreme to our military wings. If the military wing starts viewing the Party as an outsider in matters political then you need to rethink your position. That may be the casus belli. The issues dividing our respected war vets appear to all intents and purposes , political, that need comradely dialogue and not public exchange of insults. Yes some political leaders inevitably were young or not born during our armed struggle, but they should not be viewed as outsiders in our politics Some wre in political detentions and not war vets> We need to guide them in matters revolutionary in peace , not threats, because our revolutionary party needs young cadres who should drink wisdom and gwara re ZANU PF from us. We fail as leaders and fathers when we are exchanging dirty threats with our children publicly. Anger without the necessary introspection can mislead us. Let us as, advised in this report, eschew irresponsible, reactionary and insulting grandiloquence against each other. We need to remember the on going threats,from the now smiling political enemies waiting and threatening to use us for their ne colonial supper

      • yowe

        The party has excluded itself from the country for years now. The entrance of a certain female doctor has just brought out the truth. There is no party there is a family that runs the country

    • SimonPetere

      What outsiders Grace. ..please don’t see demons under every cup and saucer. .this is typical infighting and has nothing to do with outsiders. If I may buy your tale why can’t they sake the sellouts. We are suffering because of some animals more equal than the rest . There is no reason to blame others but ourselves in this while saga. Pachigaro chamambo ndopaimbisa vanaMutsvangwa…matinonokera

      • Grace Jones

        It is you pretending not to see.war vets just were tear gassed by outsiders. The same outsiders now want to be carrying an olive branch. War vets are not fools. They can see through it all

  • Ndiya

    By organisational structures you mean the NDC which case have they resolved fairly so that it restores confidence in people to use them.

  • Tarwiraushe

    I hope Mutsvangwa takes this advice very seriously. The president being the patron,would have addressed all their griviences, without rushing to court. He needs to be disciplined,for failing to follow proper procedures. So far he has blamed everybody else,other than himself.

    • yowe

      Jabulani Sibanda akaenda kumacourt wani? Saka uyu atadzei???

    • Collin Mackenzie

      This farm raider must just Vostek maaaaan.
      Since telling him to shut up is not helping.

      He must Vostek!!!

  • Muchadura

    Alex Kanengoni is the ONLY person who has said something sensible!!

    • Harare


  • Bererashama

    President Mugabe has attempted to mislead the public by declaring the private War Vet meeting was not sanctioned by the police, whose clearance was not required, although the police were politely informed beforehand. Furthermore Minister Chombo with authority over the Police and incidentally the illegal actions of the violent Riot Police, was also informed personally the day before the meeting by ZNLWVA provincial chairman John Gutu.

    • chakutareal

      Oh well well well, is that the protocol? Do you have to tell the authorities by word of mouth? It is rather unfortunate that there was no proper communication that was followed when calling for the meeting. For instance, you apply for police clearance 7 days before the meeting and you only said Chombo was informed by Gutu a day before. Law does not take short cuts and everyone needs to abide by it. I personally cherish and respect the ZNLWA and agree that their grievances needed an urgent address but doing it haphazardly and taking the law into their hands solved nothing except anarchy. Its time our dear war vets follow proper and numerous channels to get their issues addressed by the relevant authorities.

      • Jindaguru

        Thought 7 days notice was only for demonstrations and Political parties? ZNLWVA is not a political party and this was a private members meeting.
        Defence Minister Sekeramayi was also advised of the meeting, despite President Mugabe addressing the nation claiming Chombo and Sekeramayi were clueless over the ZNLWVA meeting. We just want to know who ordered the violent police intervention?

        • chakutareal

          It seems you are not conversant with the law my friend according to section 25 (1) (a) of the Public Order and Security Act you need to apply for any procession or gathering (demonstrations included) seven days before the event to the regulatory authority while for public meetings you apply 5 days before. There is nowhere stated that you shall inform the relevant minister by word of mouth. Please learn to follow proper channels.

      • yowe

        Who told the police of the gatherings at Zanu Pf headquarters??

  • Khathazile

    Despite wishes of some Zanu-PF members to keep these disputes secret and in house, Zanu-PF must also recognise it cannot deny rights to its members of freedom of expression and association as enshrined in the supreme national Constitution. Which overrides any limitations or censorship Zanu-PF leaders or its internal party constitution may wish to impose, if aggrieved parties deem unilateral decisions by a controlling minority (faction?) impedes recourse to a fair hearing, as we’ve often witnessed with numerous past Zanu-PF expulsions.

  • robzam

    Whilst this might sound like wise counsel, the grievance channels have been heavily compromised by G40. The NDC is dominated by G40 and the centre is being manipulated by G40, this only leaves the courts as the port for fair remedy.

    • hungry povo

      Is the war vet leadership LACOSTE then?


        Only solution for wrangles and disputes in the ZNLWVA is to de-politicize the ZNLWA let the Organization do what it is mandated to do. some war vets are in a pathetic situation while ZNLWA is busy meddling in politics. war vets are free to participate in politics and join parties of their choice that is what they fought for. a war vet should not be regarded as a sell out if he joins for instance MDC-T or such and such party. that is his or her constitutional right. ZANU – PF should not be regarded as the owner or having exclusive rights to the war vets. war vets are humans who think and make choices. ZNLWVA SHOULD be apolitical and should revert to its co-functions to en-better the living standards of its members regardless of the political affiliations.

        • yowe

          War vets are the back bone of Zanu. We find ourselves in this economic disaster because Zanu cannot deny the War vets what they demanded. Land money etc. Now they want more and Zanu has NO guts to deny, the mistake yekuvarova was miscalculated. Mutsvangwa should reorganize that meeting otaura chokwadi chese

      • robzam

        They share a different ideology to G40, whether that makes them Lacoste is a decision for you to make.

    • chakutareal

      The grievances should not be channeled through the Zanu PF NDC because ZNLWA is just an affiliate with their own constitution and structures. Rather they should be presented to either the cabinet or head of state through their Minister Mutsvangwa. The committee could also present their grievances to their Patron. So my dear ‘robzam’ the proper channels can never be hampered by the so called G40

      • Cde Njelele

        ZNLWVA is a product of ZANU PF! ZAPU & ZANU created ZIPRA & ZANLA, which today are ZNLWVA under ZANUPF after our armed struggle. Some war vets are in ZANU PF government including the President and the two VPs, Army commanders, ZRP commissioners, CIO commanders, at al. Any esoteric political groups are not official known or nor accepted.

      • robzam

        I am not sure how you are arriving at the conclusion that cabinet falls within the purview of a grievance channel for the war veterans. Cabinet by design only handles government business and the war veterans are not a government entity that requires its political disputes handled by cabinet. The only thing that Mutsvangwa can take to cabinet regarding war veterans is issues relating to their welfare as this is financed from central government. @@@@@@@ you do not need to be a rocket scientist to know that the police could never assault the war veterans without authorisation from @@@. Their patron is unfortunately being misled by a small group of non war veterans and upstart politicians whose moniker is of public record.

        I hope you understand how affiliates operate, by virtue of that affiliation, they subject themselves to the structures of their mother body, ZANU Pf in this case. This path signpost them to the NDC, which is controlled by G40.

        • yowe

          Their issue is simple!!! Mother Doctor should retract her statements. The failure of the patron to dismiss Chris is a calculated response of appreciating what may happen if he continues to be mislead by mother doctor

  • Phillip Munyaradzi

    What of the suspension of Mutsvangwa by Chimene, is that not outside influence in the organisation. What about those fanning divisions holding [email protected]@@@@@@@@@, whose purpose most of us are still trying to fathom!

  • bond coin

    some top gvt officials shld repcect them first bcz a massive lack of respect forced them to engage in such an activity

  • Givhi

    Mugabe downs Mutsvangwa helicopter

    • War Vet Supporter

      There was no need to use tear gas on the war vets ,the police should have engaged them,they wanted to embarrass Cde Mutsvangwa,cde Mutsvangwa is right becoz vanotaura chokwadi ,vanobudisa chokwadi pachena.The police erred apa guys

      • Mukumbura Starving Comrade

        But don`t forget that they were threatening Ministers Cde Kasukuwere and Moyo to bar them from Politburo meetings? On what capacity? In other country war vets don`t threaten civilians or those whose political views differ? We respect them and I am 7 year ex political detainee, but they should not create a parallel government authority. They should put more pressure on our welfare issues not politics. Their leaders even issued statement on PG Tomana! On what capacity when its sub judice? They must not think they are more superior than other war vets in government like the President and his VPs! Some of us worked in the private sector but we don`t boast now and again about our revolutionaries accomplishments during the liberation struggle. Even those who fed the fighters feel humiliated when only those who carried the gun think other roles were useless. This is why some have said we also contributed to the fight. The povo were put in camps and lost property because of their support to fighters. Takagwa tose, not only war vets! What chokwadi did they want to say or say daily?

        • G Tichatonga

          Well said.

  • Fred Muchena


  • Ngomalungundu

    Was Chipanga`s the first threat done since the rise of the ugly insults? What of the threats by Matemadanda to physically stop Ministers from attending a lawful Politburo meeting? The beleaguered war vet leadership needs to be real! Period!

  • brian

    It doesn’t make sense.

  • robzam

    You mean the same courts that are saying Tomana has got a case to answer.

  • yowe

    I hope all this escalates its high time that mother doctor hears the truth

  • Collin Mackenzie

    War vets must just stop holding Zimbabwe to ransom period.
    We have lost respect for those farm raider a failed bunch of individuals who think because they went to they have a right to behave in a manner that is unprofessional.
    Sick and tired of them.
    They wars Vostek maaaaan.