War vets slam Mnangagwa camp

War veterans in the Midlands province have slammed Zanu (PF) officials aligned to Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, saying their conduct is fanning factionalism. They also questioned how young members of the party could rise above them to occupy top decision-making bodies outside congress, like the Central Committee.

Masango “Blackman” Matambanadzo
Masango “Blackman” Matambanadzo

Zanu (PF) Central Committee member for Kwekwe, Douglas Tapfuma, told journalists recently that the district had resolved to re-call the constituency’s MP Masango “Blackman” Matambanadzo from Parliament because “they can no longer work with him.” Tapfuma, an ally of Mnangagwa, accused the MP of being responsible for the recent altercation between himself and Owen “Mudha” Ncube, Gokwe-Kana MP and a former aide to the Justice Minister. Speaking at a no-holds barred meeting of the war veterans at Mtapa Hall over the weekend, Terry Shumba, the Midlands chairperson became emotionally charged over Tapfuma’s utterances, saying he jumped the gun.

“We all read in the newspapers what happened between Ncube and Matambanadzo,” said Shumba referring to their public brawl. “However, we were all shocked that after such an incident, Tapfuma rushed to call a press conference saying Matambanadzo should be re-called. Is that how conflicts are resolved? In Zanu (PF) we know there are procedures and disputes are not solved in the newspapers. What Tapfuma did is a clear act of indiscipline caused by factionalism,” he said.

Shumba, who reportedly lost one of his lungs during the liberation war, also complained that youths with backing from some top officials ascended to Zanu (PF)’s high decision-making bodies.

“It is those youths who unclearly rise in the ranks who are causing havoc in the party. As war veterans, we are the custodians of the party because of its revolutionary history, so we cannot be silent when junior members disrespect those very senior to them,” he said.

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