The Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Victor Matemadanda, was yesterday forced to abort a scheduled address at a meeting of former liberation war fighters in Marondera after a rival group organised a parallel event.
Matemadanda who is also the ZANU PF Political Commissar was scheduled to address the war veterans gathered at Mbuya Nehanda Hall for a meeting organised by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA).
The Standard reports that Matemadanda had to deploy a political commissar, whose identity could not be immediately established, to address the former fighters led by Peter Sigauke after the chaos became apparent.
Speaking to the publication, an anonymous war veteran said:
Disgruntled war veterans led by one Samunda were having their own meeting at the Zanu PF provincial party headquarters.
Cde Matemadanda was supposed to go to the hall, but at the party provincial headquarters, there was another meeting.
He was forced to abort the meeting and deployed a political commissar, who comes from Manicaland, in his place.
Meanwhile, Matemadanda said he was not aware of the meeting.
I was at school, I am not aware of the meetings you are talking about.
The Standard reports that its reporter witnessed war veterans being bussed from the province’s nine districts to Mbuya Nehanda Hall where they waited to be addressed by the deputy minister, who was in a no-show.
The publication further reports that some war veterans were overhead urging their colleagues to snub the meeting of the rival faction at the party provincial headquarters.
The war veterans are reportedly divided with some accusing their leaders of neglecting their welfare, an issue that made the ex-combatants to revolt against the late former president, Robert Mugabe leading to his ouster in November 2017.