War vets on collision course

Chief Court Reporter

The High Court yesterday postponed to today the hearing of the war veterans wrangle over the election of new leadership of the association. The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) last week successfully sought an interdict blocking a splinter group from convening a special meeting to elect a new executive.Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Mandi Chimene leads the splinter group as its interim chairperson.

The order was granted against Cdes George Mlala, Charles Mpofu, Joseph Chinotimba, Esther Munyaradzi, Stephen Moyo and Robert Mukwena.

Justice Joseph Musakwa last week deferred the matter to yesterday for further hearing and determination of the application in respect of the other seven – Cdes George Matenda, Patrick Nyaruwata, Future Piriyana, Wellington Chitehwe, Rueben Chikono, Thomas Matambe and Thomas Kunaka.

But yesterday, the judge further deferred the hearing against the seven to allow them to file their opposing papers. They have also enlisted the services of Gweru lawyers Garikayi and Company to argue their case.

The Chimene-led group is expected to convene a meeting to elect a new executive of the ZNLWVA.

Addressing war veterans, Women’s League and youths gathered at the Zanu-PF Headquarters recently, President Mugabe told the former freedom fighters to elect new leadership, if they so wish.

In an urgent application heard before Justice Musakwa in the High Court yesterday, 13 members of the splinter group were listed as respondents.

The call for new leadership in the ZNLWVA follows a vote of no-confidence on the Christopher Mutsvangwa-led executive.

Mutsvangwa was consequently expelled from Zanu-PF after he was convicted of conduct that showed disrespect of the party leadership.

The Mutsvangwa-led ZNLWVA executive went to court to stop the pending elections.

Through their lawyer, Mr Rungano Mahuni of Mahuni, Gidiri Law Chambers, argued that the Constitution of the association does not provide for the removal of its leaders by vote of no confidence.

He argued that the Chimene-led faction could not purport to act on behalf of the association in the absence of an election to bring them into the leadership of the association.

But the Chimene faction argues that the Mutsvangwa-led executive was removed by a vote of no-confidence.

ZNLWVA secretary-general Victor Matemadanda, spokesperson Douglas Mahiya, national commissar Francis Nhando and deputy chairperson Headman Moyo have since been expelled from Zanu-PF for indiscipline.

The quartet appeared in court facing charges of attempting to subvert the constitutionally elected Government. They are all out on $300 bail each.

They were arrested in connection with a damning communique last month urging President Mugabe to resign.

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