WAR Veterans minister Tshinga Dube has blamed Zanu PF’s endless factional wars for stalling his efforts to unite the former fighters’ two warring camps.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA/DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Dube told NewsDay yesterday that his mission to unite the two war veterans’ camps – one led Christopher Mutsvangwa and the other by Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene – was being frustrated by factional fights within the ruling party.
“The President gave me a mandate to look after the welfare of war veterans and to unite them. The attempts to unite them are facing serious challenges because of divisions within the party, which come from the top,” he said.
“I had a meeting with the Mutsvangwa-led executive and thought I would get a medal for that, but instead I got a backlash. There seems to be a problem if one meets with expelled comrades. For me to execute my mandate effectively, I need to have support from the President. Without that, I have to backtrack and after the meeting I seemed to get the vibe that it was wrong.
“You can’t unite without talking to the people. I have always said if we could share a cup of coffee with Ian Smith, while the graves were still fresh in Zambia and Mozambique, if we could fall under the leadership of Peter Walls, why can’t we talk to our comrades fired from the party over saying things that are anti-establishment?
“We can’t stop because that will be abdicating the mandate I was given by the President, but I have to manoeuvre carefully without stepping on other people’s toes.”
This came as Zanu PF Harare youth provincial leader, Edson Takataka, dressed down Dube at the weekend, accusing him of continuously recognising Mutsvangwa’s executive, despite the fact that the latter was fired from the ruling party.
“If Dube recognises the expelled war veterans’ leadership, then he is mad. How can he support people who are not party members?” he said, while addressing a conference organised by Children’s of Zimbabwe National Liberation of War Veterans’ Association in Harare.