Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
War veterans are concerned and saddened with the suspension of Zanu-PF deputy secretary for war veterans who is also their chairman Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa, saying they will continue rallying behind him and their patron President Mugabe.
Addressing a Press conference also attended by Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) national members, the organisation’s information and publicity secretary Cde Douglas Mahiya said the organisation would continue supporting President Mugabe.
“We are not happy. We are so sad, our spirits are so dull because of the political developments that took place yesterday (Thursday). However, in spite of all the persecution, the travail, tribulations and destitution of war veterans, we take these challenges and remain fully behind our patron who is also the commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and First Secretary of Zanu-PF President Mugabe.
“We remain fully behind him. We take this opportunity as well to announce that the bond that is between us and our patron is as was before, undisturbed. It will remain as it is and our patron the icon of our revolution together with our late Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo,” he said.
He said the suspension of Cde Mutsvangwa allowed the war veterans to have more time with their chairman although it did not give war veterans any “ happiness.”
“It affected us somehow spiritually, like in an army when the commander is probably at a battle and gets shot. The soldiers’ spirits will be down. However, tinoti isusu unogona kukava datya asi unoribatsira kuyambuka rwizi. When people talk about war veterans, they see a certain animal whose mother is unknown.”
Cde Mahiya said the association shall do everything in its power to improve the socio-economic conditions of war veterans, calling them “the angels” of the Zimbabwean revo- lution.
Cde Mahiya said war veterans were also concerned that people were losing their money to land barons and that councils were driving out the city vendors who were trying to make a living.
The economic situation, Cde Mahiya said, was forcing female students into prostitution.
He also said war veterans did not belong to any political faction and said the organisation would open an office to deal with corruption, “starting by bringing to book those who are building 50 bedroomed houses”.
Zanu-PF suspended deputy secretary for war veterans Cde Mutsvangwa for three years for alleged gross misconduct and disloyalty, while his wife, Cde Monica Mutsvangwa, the women’s league spokesperson, suffered the same fate.
The two will not hold any positions in the party during their suspension, but will remain Zanu-PF National Assembly members for Norton and Senator for Manicaland, respectively.
Zanu-PF Women’s League secretary for Administration Cde Esphina Nhari was also suspended for three years while seven former provincial youth chairpersons were expelled.