WAR veterans national political commissar Francis Nhando handed himself over to police Monday, following the arrest of secretary general Victor Matemadanda as provincial leaders rallied behind chairman Christopher Mutsvangwa.
Impeccable sources told NewZimbabwe.com that Nhando handed himself over to the ZRP’s Law and Order Section.
“He has just handed himself over and was part of the group that was to surrender including Matemadanda,” a senior war veteran said.
Nhando boldly told a recent meeting of war veterans which produced a stinging rebuke of Mugabe that “no one can lend money to a 92-year-old and we will not campaign for someone who does not want us”, in reference to the Zanu PF leader.
Insiders also claimed that, at least, a hundred war veterans would hand themselves over to police “tomorrow (today)” in protest against the “harassment’.
The arrest of senior leaders of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) comes after the former freedom fighters’ issued a damning communique accusing Mugabe of running down the country, making genocidal threats and dictatorial tendencies, among other things.
It has also emerged that war veterans’ provincial chairperson met at the weekend and decided to ignore Mugabe’s order to convene an extra-ordinary congress of the association but officials seemed scared to speak about the gathering.
“We will ignore it if they decided to convene their own congress under a new name. The ZNLWVA has one leadership under Mutsvangwa and that has a mandate for the next three years,” said a source who attended the meeting.
All provincial chairs were in Harare for the meeting. We resolved to stick with Mutsvangwa; he is our leader for the next three years. Zanu PF and Mugabe can form their own association.”
Contacted for comment Cephas Ncube the association’s Bulawayo provincial chairman retorted; “Who told you that?
“Where did you get that from? It is no use for me to speak about that when I did not attend,” he said.
Mutsvangwa said the association’s constitution should be respected.
“The association’s constitution is intrinsic and historical. It is also echoed in the national constitution,” he said curtly.
The former war veterans minister scoffed at government’s crackdown and targeting of members of his executive.
“By whom, with what capacity? The apparatus of the State is born of war veterans. You should also refer to VP (Emmerson Mnangagwa)’s statement.
“We are the reserve force of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,” said Mutsvangwa.
Permanent secretary in the veterans’ ministry Walter Tapfumaneyi said government would “stick to what is legal”.
“Whatever we are going to do from not going forward will be guided by the association’s rules as well as the national Constitution.
“We will act on proper legal advice and I am not prepared to discuss that at the moment,” Tapfumaneyi said.