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Zimbabwe's War Vets Count On Mugabe To Bring Sanity To Splintered Party

Zimbabwe President Mugabe and First Lady, Grace Mugabe
Zimbabwe President Mugabe and First Lady, Grace Mugabe

Zimbabwe’s National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) has toned down its rhetoric to block Education Minister Jonathan Moyo and National Commissar Savior Kasukuwere from attending the ruling Zanu-PF party’s weekly meeting of the decision-making body, the politburo.

The group’s Secretary General, Victor Matemadanda told VOA’s Zimbabwe Service that it was reassessing its plans, after learning that Kasukuwere and the party’s women’s league, also plan to demonstrate against Vice President Emmerson Mnangangwa, ZNLWVA chairman Christopher Mutsvangwa, and also Presidential spokesperson George Charamba, as reported by the state run Herald.

Kasukuwere and the women’s league were reportedly organizing buses that would bring hundreds of them to the capital, to put up a stiff fight against the efforts to block their entry into the meeting.

Matemadanda said they have to be careful not to pit war veterans against fellow party supporters, specially women.

“They are trying to use a strategy whereby they are going to cause our women to fight war veterans. They would do that because as they are coming, they’ve not been told exactly what they are coming for,” said Matemadanda. “You see war veterans cannot be seen to be fighting their own supporters,” he said.

Reports of factionalism in the party have continued to grow with every week, escalating at times to public slinging of words, as happened recently between Education Minister Moyo and ZNLWVA chairman Mutsvangwa, who questioned each other’s war credentials, and parentage.

Interview with Victor Matemadanda, Secretary General Of Zimbabwe War Veterans Association
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The factionalism is reportedly split between supporters of First Lady Grace Mugabe who call themselves the G40, and those supporting Vice President Mnangagwa, referred to in some reports as Team Lacoste.

The apparent factionalism reached its peak in 2014 ahead of the party’s annual Congress, which resulted in the expulsion of former Vice President Joyce Mujuru and many other members accused of aligning with her in her plans to unseat President Mugabe.

Despite several shakeups, allegations of factionalism have continued to circulate in the party, drawing calls from even President Mugabe for the divisions to stop.

Matemadanda said he’s counting on President Mugabe to address the divisions and bring the party back to normalcy.

“The president is going to preside over the politburo meeting, and we are looking forward to seeing solutions being offered as towards these problems,” said Matemadanda, “and maybe we might see sanity from there on wards.”

An estimated crowd of about 10-thousand is expected to attend the politburo meeting, according to the Herald.