THE recent expulsion of Mashonaland West provincial war veterans’ chairperson, Takesure Chemhere, over accusations of being a bogus war veteran took a new twist last week after Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association leader Jabulani Sibanda came to her defence.
Chemhere was last month struck off the war veterans’ register and fired from her post by War Veterans Affairs national director Major-General Richard Ruwodo (Rtd) following an expose that she was a bogus freedom fighter.
Ruwodo indicated in a letter dated July 16 2014, that Chemhere would be charged for defrauding the War Victims’ Compensation Fund of $10 762, 65 through fraudulent claims.
Part of the letter read: “This letter serves to confirm that the above member, Mashonaland West Provincial chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association is abogus war veteran.”
Following her expulsion, war veterans in Mashonaland West immediately elected a 12-member interim committee headed by Amos Kademaunga to take care of their welfare.
But Sibanda last week declined to recognise Kademanunga’s executive, saying Chemhere remained the only recognised war veterans leader in the province.
“Chemhere and her committee is the recognised representatives of war vets in Mashonaland West; no member has the power to vet another war vet besides, that cannot be done at provincial level,” he said.
“If they had any grievances they should approach the national executive which will look into the issue. Yes, we lived in the bush, but we must not behave like animals.”
Pressed to clarify why he wanted Chemhere to retain her post despite being labelled a bogus freedom fighter, Sibanda quipped: “I have no time to answer such stupid questions. Mashonaland West province has been problematic because of few individuals who think they are bigger than the organisation.”