By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
FORMER Information deputy minister, Bright Matonga, who was 11 years old at independence 1980, has been appointed into the Mashonaland West chapter of the newly constituted Zanu PF Veterans of the Liberation Struggle League (ZVLSL).
He was appointed together with ex-ZBC chief executive, Happison Muchechetere.
Matonga and Muchechetere landed posts as secretary for information and chairperson, respectively.
This was during the ruling party wing’s inaugural provincial meeting held in Chinhoyi on Saturday.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com, Matonga said the ZVLSL was established following last week’s unanimous decision by the Politburo, Zanu PF’s highest decision-making body outside congress.
He said the league adds to the already existing wings of the party namely, Main Board, Women’s and Youth Leagues.
He said the newly formed Zanu PF war veterans group is not going to be in competition with other formations representing war veterans, such as the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA).
ZNLWVA, chaired by Chris Mutsvangwa, is a Zanu PF aligned war veterans group claiming to be representing the interests of all veterans of the liberation war.
“The ZVLSL is not in competition with any association but aims to complement what has already been done to improve the welfare of war veterans, war collaborators, ex-political prisoners and detainees,” said Matonga, who has been maintaining a low-profile he stopped being an MP.
ZVLSL’s creation was necessitated by the need to push the interests of members aligned to the ruling party.
“For the sake of clarity, there is need to appreciate that veterans of the struggle can belong to the same war veterans association, but be affiliated to different political parties, hence the Politburo saw it prudent to establish the new wing,” he said.
All provinces held similar meetings at the weekend to elect representatives of the new Zanu PF wing, whose curious timing is seen as calculated to escalate Mnangagwa’s power retention plot as Zanu PF First Secretary.
Matonga, now 52, claimed he was trained at the war front in 1978 during the country’s liberation struggle that ushered independence 18 April 1980.
He was nine years old in 1978.
He said on the announcement of ceasefire, he led a youthful group of collaborators who volunteered to troop to Manyewe assembly point in his rural home of Mhondoro-Ngezi.
Matonga was captured live on camera participating in the infamous military-civilian uprising against his erstwhile benefactor Mugabe in 2017, a historic moment he brags displays his undying patriotism towards Zimbabwe and loyalty to Mnangagwa.
Trained in Tanzania, Muchechetere was also first commander of Gaza Province during the Detañte and deployed to lead insurgency against the colonial regime in Beira, said Matonga while talking about the appointments.