Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe National War Veterans National Association has thrown their weight behind its leader, Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa, saying issues that he had been vocal about reflected what they wanted.
In an interview with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation yesterday, association secretary general, Cde Victor Matemadanda, said Cde Mutsvangwa had their mandate to be vocal so that he exposed those that wanted to undermine the revolution.
“We want the people of Zimbabwe to understand that Cde Mutsvangwa is not only a Minister; he is also chairman of the association; he is also a representative of freedom fighters in the Politburo and when he speaks, he does that on our behalf,” said Cde Matemadanda.
“We hear so many people saying he speaks too much. We have asked him to do that and when he is talking too much, that is what we want. It is what his constituency wants. This is what we have asked him to do. So, people should let him talk. We want him to talk so that those who want to reverse the gains of the revolution are exposed.”
Cde Matemadanda said they tasked Cde Mutsvangwa to secure a meeting between the association and their patron President Mugabe to brief him on what was happening in both the Party and the Government.
“There are many other issues that we are seeing that are threatening the party again and Government. We feel the combined freedom fighters must be given a chance to talk to His Excellency and divulge the secrets that are going on in the party and the Government,” he said.
Cde Matemadanda was giving feedback on a conference held by combined freedom fighters — that unite war collaborators and ex-detainees and restrictees in Kariba recently. There have been two or more distinct groups representing war collaborators and another set representing ex-detainees and restrictees.
“We went to Kariba as different entities. We managed to unite war collaborators. Although they still have two different structures, they are now working as one. We achieved the same with detainees. So we have brought to an end the issue of two or more structures in the war collaborators and detainees,” he said.
Cde Matemadanda said there would be elections by year end for these different entities to choose their executives as part of efforts to unite them. He said there would be another election for those freedom fighters who were trained, but were not deployed.
“We also agreed to have war collaborators vetted by end of December and the comrades who went to war and came back before completing training, we said they must be vetted by end of December or any other earlier time because we feel they must be recognised and people must appreciate the role that they have played,” he said.
“We have said the period that one should be considered as a detainee should be brought from six months to 90 days because the order that took people to detention or restriction was a 90-day order, so we want that to be reversed in the Constitution or in the laws that govern ex-detainees,” he said.
Cde Matemadanda said their conference had called for an investigation over what led to the mix- up of the President’s speech that saw the Head of State and Government reading a wrong speech recently during an official opening of the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament.
He said their association suspected the mix up was deliberate by officials from the Office of the President and Cabinet.