Jittery Mnangagwa directs ministers to rein in ‘renegade’ splinter war veterans’ groups

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By Staff Reporter

SENSING resistance among fellow liberation war veterans over prospects of a third presidential term, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly directed his lieutenants to cleanse the constituency of ‘renegades’ opposed to the proposition.

The Zanu PF leader has been testing the waters on the feasibility of either running for a third lap on account of constitutional changes or delaying the holding of general elections until 2030, an idea widely condemned by some war veterans.

There are three distinct war veterans’ groupings going by the same name — Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) — led by Christopher Mutsvangwa, Moffat Marashwa and Andreas Mathibela whose positions on the envisaged term extension, or poll delay, vary.

In a bid to pacify the restive constituency, Minister of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs Monica Mavhunga, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister July Moyo, and Zanu PF Secretary for War Veterans Douglas Kahiya issued a joint statement this Thursday calling on the ZNLWVA factions to conduct amalgamated elections to come up with a single representative body.

“It has been noted with concern that there are a number of leadership structures claiming legitimacy using the same name, ZNLWVA (PVO 1/90). This has created confusion, hence, the need to urgently rectify the situation.

“In consultation with the then Acting President K.C.D Mohadi, on behalf of the patron, His Excellency President Cde E.D Mnangagwa, we hereby direct as follows; that democratic elections inclusive of all structures of the ZNLWVA led by Cde Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa, Moffat Marashwa and Andreas Mathibela be convened from district, provincial and national levels in order to produce a single leadership,” reads part of the joint statement.

It was also directed that dates for elections across the three levels be communicated in due course and all other arrangements by the separate ZNLWVA groupings nullified.

All members of the three ZNLWVA formations were also warned to desist from name-dropping, thereby effectively putting a leash on the vocal former liberation war fighters who were instrumental in Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to power through a military-assisted coup in November 2017.