War vets leader Matemadanda arrested as vicious Mugabe crackdown continues


Victor Matemadanda, the war veterans secretary general, was picked up from his home in Gokwe in the Midlands province and his whereabouts are not known

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said in an alert that five unidentified men stormed his home and took him away.


The men said they would be taking him to the Law and Order section in Harare where his counterpart, Douglas Mahiya, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson, surrendered himself after a raid at his Chitungwiza home.

The ZNLWVA chairperson, Christopher Mutsvangwa, is said to have gone into hiding, with unconfirmed reports saying he had already skipped the border.

“His whereabouts are currently undetermined, as are the charges or allegations against him,” said the alert. Last night, armed police details stormed Mahiya’s house in Chitungwiza and held his family hostage including a 6-month-old baby.


Mahiya subsequently surrendered himself to the infamous Law and Order section in the company of his lawyer, Nyika Kanengoni.

He was immediately taken in and is reportedly being charged with undermining the authority of the president or, alternatively, treason.

The arrests are linked to a war vets communique shared after a meeting in Harare last Thursday in which the ex-combatants described Mugabe as too old and a dictator.

The veterans said they would no longer campaign for Mugabe as he had also run down the economy and was frustrating financial aid.

Government authorities subsequently announced that security agents had launched a probe into who authored the communique.

The clampdown on Zanu PF internal critics came just after Mugabe addressed party supporters who were gathered in the wake of the war vets meeting last Thursday and the circulation of the communique.

Mugabe threatened to “severely punish’ the rebel former fighters who are gunning for his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to take over power, and ordered the dissolution of the current war vets association leadership.


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