The recent fallout between war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda and the association’s patron President Robert Mugabe has left the former fighters sharply divided.
While a faction linked to Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) assured Mugabe that they would convene an extraordinary congress to choose a new leadership before the Zanu PF December elective congress, another group secretly met in Chinhoyi yesterday and came up with an interim committee headed by Moffat Marashwa from Mashonaland West to take them to congress.
One of the new committee members, Victor Maponga said: “There is no hurry in having a congress. Now we need to take time to put our house in order because a lot things are not in place . . . congress this month is too early.”
Other members include Moses Nyambondo (Mashonaland West), Oweni Nyoni, Sikhosana (Bulawayo), Ernest Ncube, Mabhoyi (Mat South), Sadomba Zvakanyorwa, David Matsvaire (Harare), David Nduku, Norido Tonderai (Mash East) CC Gondo, F Hozheri (Masvingo), Biggie Kanyere, Passmore Chibwata (Manicaland), Dumisani Ndlovu, Max Mbambo (Mat North), Alois Chimeri, C Ncube (Midlands).
But Chinotimba on Sunday dismissed the new committee as illegal and insisted that the war veterans would choose a proper committee at an extraordinary congress by mid-month.
“We must have a new leadership by 15 November because there is a vacuum within the association and besides by the time we go to congress there must be a substantive leadership whether it is Chinoz or not that is not the issue,” Chinotimba said.
“I’m appealing to all war vets to put leaders who have the welfare of their members at heart, leaders who love and respect their patron President Robert Mugabe.”
Another group of war veterans from Bulawayo yesterday claimed that Mugabe was being fed on lies over the status of the association, hence his public attack on Sibanda.
“People like George Mlala, of the little known group that calls itself elders of the war veterans, misinformed the President about our leader Jabulani Sibanda,” Bulawayo provincial chairman Japhet Phuthi said.
Sibanda has been in the eye of a storm since he said all able bodied Zimbabweans should not allow a “boardroom or bedroom coup” in apparent reference to the plot to unseat Vice President Joice Mujuru.
But Sibanda on Sunday scoffed at his ouster by a group calling themselves war veterans elders fronted by Patrick Nyaruwata (Harare), Mlala (Bulawayo), Nelson Chadamoyo (Mashonaland Central), George Matenda and Victor Matemadanda, both from the Midlands.
Sibanda said: “We are still intact and the objectives of the association are being pursued . . . these elders of war vets it’s not constitutional and it’s not in our revolutionary vocabulary.”