War vets splinter group holds own congress

war_vetMUTARE - Cracks have emerged in the war veterans association amid reports that a splinter group has been formed and is proposing to run a parallel national congress next weekend in Chinhoyi.

The group placed an advert in the state-run Herald on Thursday calling all the genuine war veterans to attend the congress and map the way forward. The notice stated that food, transport and accommodation would be provided.

The faction is accusing the incumbent war veteran national executive of focusing more on politics than their welfare.

The national executive launched a counter-attack, describing the splinter group as agents of imperialism and opposition.

Addressing a press conference in Mutare last Friday, the war veterans information and publicity secretary, James Kanaye, admitted that these were genuine war veterans who were disgruntled at how the association has been handling their welfare.

[They] want to destabilise and confuse the war veterans because they know that the power of Zanu (PF) is only left in the war veterans wing, said Kanaye.

He said some comrades were now abandoning Zanu (PF) to work with Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, after they were promised funding to start income- generating projects to sustain themselves.

Thembinkosi Chiororo, provincial secretary for information and publicity for Manicaland, claimed foreign forces, which were anti land reform, were funding the group.

Sources in the war veterans association said there was growing discontent that the national executive was spending time and energy championing the interests of Robert Mugabe and his cronies while the majority of them were languishing in poverty.

People are not happy because Zanu (PF) is not doing anything to improve the lives of the comrades. As custodians of our independence, genuine comrades are saying its better to work with Morgan Tsvangirai because he has proved to be a good leader, said the source.

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