Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda, has dismissed attempts by President Robert Mugabe to impose new leadership on the organisation, arguing it is unconstitutional.
This comes as War Veterans’ minister, Tshinga Dube, last week assigned Robert Ncube as ZNLWVA’s interim chairperson to replace Christopher Mutsvangwa, whose leadership government insists it no longer recognises.Government argues that it is no longer tenable for Mutsvangwa to continue at the helm of the association after his expulsion from Zanu PF — a party they say cannot be separated from war veterans.Matemadanda described the government’s actions as a “non-event”.
He said Mugabe’s move “ultra vires (Latin phrase meaning beyond the powers of) the associations’ constitution because there is a court order to that effect”.“Government should promote constitutionalism not trying to meddle in the association’s issues in disregard of standing court orders,” he told the Daily News.
Matemandanda said the association will meet “early this week” to map the way forward.
According to Dube, Ncube’s appointment will be on an interim basis awaiting a special congress to elect new leadership to replace the Mutsvangwa-led executive.Curiously, this decision comes as the High Court barred Mandi Chimene, Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba, George Mlala, Charles Mpofu, Ester Munyaradzi, Stephen Moyo and Robert Mukwena from taking over the leadership of the association.
This was after ZNLWVA filed an interdict seeking to bar some of its members from claiming leadership of the organisation.In the High Court application, ZNLWVA said the respondents’ actions were a threat to national security and stability.
Yesterday, government insisted it had been forced to intervene following the unusual situation of a war veterans’ chairman being expelled from the ruling party.
“..his (Mutsvangwa) position has become untenable because war veterans are an affiliate of Zanu PF,” War Veterans ministry’s permanent secretary, Asher Tapfumaneyi, told the State media.“The party has a say on how the association is led. We are looking for a workable solution to an unusual situation.”
Tapfumaneyi went on to accuse the Mutsvangwa led-executive of running its affairs without a valid constitution, saying the process the ministry was undertaking would bring an amended constitution.