Some members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), an affiliate of ZANU PF, have reportedly been dragged into the ruling party’s perennial factional fights.
A ZANU PF faction loyal to President Emmerson Mnangagwa is said to be actively pushing for the ouster of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga by using the ex-combatants.
Mnangagwa loyalists in the ZNLWA have reportedly targeted Chiwenga’s backers for ouster, with Douglas Mahiya, who is secretary for war veterans in ZANU PF, being singled out by war veterans loyal to the President.
Members of the ZNLWA in Mashonaland Central Province recently organised a meeting at the Mt Darwin Sports Club.
They resolved to bar Mahiya from interfering in their affairs by trying to impose Chiwenga loyalists in their structures.
According to resolutions of the meeting seen by The Standard, the war veterans expressed unhappiness over Mahiya’s frequent unsanctioned visits to the province. The resolutions read in part:
We, the undersigned representatives of the veterans of the liberation struggle, are concerned about the unsanctioned and divisive visits to our province by Cde Mahiya, which has resulted in the loss of focus, confusion and serious division among veterans themselves and our party at large.
We noticed Cde Mahiya is moving around with his team restructuring the veterans league against the party and president’s directive.
For some time Cde Mahiya has been visiting our province.
We would like to put it on record that as veterans of the liberation struggle in Mashonaland Central, we distance ourselves from Cde Mahiya’s actions and motives.
The former fighters implored Mnangagwa to censor Mahiya, saying he was sabotaging ZANU PF’s campaign ahead of the 2023 elections.
The Mashonaland Central war veterans’ provincial chairperson, Samuel Parirenyatwa, confirmed the meeting to The Standard but refused to comment further.
Mahiya refused to comment, saying: “I am at the farm. My phone has a problem. I am not hearing you clearly.”
Newly-appointed ZANU PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa was reportedly not picking calls.
Meanwhile, The Standard reported insiders as saying that the war veterans wanted to pass a vote of no confidence in Chiwenga before the 2023 polls.
A war veteran who requested anonymity said his colleagues who are loyal to Mnangagwa think that Chiwenga is behind the group of war veterans protesting over poor pensions to discredit Mnangagwa.
Chiwenga has repeatedly denied accusations that he is plotting against Mnangagwa and he recently warned ZANU PF can amend the Constitution to make Mnangagwa president-for-life.