Secretary for Veterans of the Liberation in the Politburo, Victor Matemadanda said Zanu PF has stopped all unauthorized trips to the shrines outside the country, saying only those sanctioned by the party will be allowed to travel to the graves.
He told a war veterans meeting held in Mutare last week that former liberation fighters should be wary of aspiring politicians who visit and entice them to accompany them to the shrines yet their intention would be “to mess up things and do their shopping in Mozambique”.
Usually, visiting delegations to the shrines take advantage of the trips to bring merchandise of second hands clothes and footwear into the country for resale.
Zimbabwe has more than eight liberation war monuments in Mozambique and Zambia, from where the country`s liberation war movements Zanla and Zipra organized the war to free the country from colonial rule.
Thousands of liberation war fighters and refugees are buried at various mass graves, including ones at Chimoio and Freedom Camp after they were massacred by Rhodesian forces during the struggle.
“Please for now let`s stop all the trips to the shrines without permission. Only those sanctioned by the party will be allowed to travel to the shrines outside the country. We know there are two or three people who will try to come and use you to accompany them to do their shopping in Mozambique disguising as if they want to visit the shrines to pay tribute to fighters who died outside the country,” said Matemadanda.
He said the party through President Emmerson Mnangagwa was organizing a delegation which will travel to Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia to thank the local chiefs who are responsible for looking after the shrines.
He said the trip will be held before polls in August this year.
“President Mnangagwa will send a proper delegation to those shrines to meet local traditional leaders in those respect areas to thank them for looking after the shrines on our behalf.
“Representatives of those who died in the war, local chiefs and spirit mediums will travel to the shrines to pay tribute to the fallen heroes before the elections,” said Matemadanda, adding “so those who were intending to go for now stop. We don’t want you to mess up there”.
The former minister of State for Manicaland, Mandi Chimene used to frequent the Chimoio shrines and Nyangao shrines just outside the Port City of Beira with a delegation of party supporters.