By Tonderai Saharo
A WAR veterans’ provincial leader in Masvingo is in trouble with colleagues after he openly dismissed a recent government sponsored anti-western sanctions national protest that was presided over by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Members of the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association’s Masvingo chapter are fiercely opposed on whether to expel the association’s provincial secretary for lands, Faster Gono from the structures.
The outspoken sugarcane farmer is accused of fomenting divisions, undermining the Zanu PF leadership and criticising the recent government sponsored anti-sanction march.
Gono, a former army captain, infuriated his comrades when he called on the Emmerson Mnangagwa led administration to deal with rampant corruption first before calling for the removal of sanctions.
“Zimbabweans could have merged the march with some form of anti-corruption advocacy to drive home the idea that all corrupt individuals must be arrested,” Gono is said to have told Zanu PF supporters in the sugarcane producing town of Chiredzi ahead of the anti-sanctions march last month.
“Zimbabwe is a wonderfully endowed country which can sustain itself with sanctions there. We only need to eliminate corruption and have a clean governance system.
“Corruption is our number one enemy which should be eradicated first before we talk of sanctions.”
The SADC backed anti-sanctions march went on to become a flop in most parts of the country with ordinary citizens boycotting the protest on a day that was declared a national holiday.
However, his sentiments did not go down well with some quarters within the militant group.
“He should be expelled from the structures and be stripped of everything that he got through Zanu PF,” said one war veteran who refused to be named.
“He is now a traitor to the liberation movement. He wants to fuse in a Western agenda within our rank and file.
“We have notified the provincial office about his utterances and we are preparing a dossier on his activities of trying to destabilise the association within the province.”
Contacted for comment, ZLWVA provincial chairman, Tendeuaki Chinooneka said he was not at liberty to discuss the association’s internal affairs in the media.
Recent events have pointed to an imminent collapse of the once firebrand pro-Zanu PF group, after some disgruntled war veterans in Harare ditched the main association to form a splinter group.
The ‘rebels’ cited politicisation of the war veterans’ movement which had dissuaded members from freely expressing their views on the country’s economic and political decay.