DEPUTY chairperson of a rebel war veterans’ faction, George Mlala has dismissed claims he did not participate in the liberation struggle.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Mlala’s war record was put into question by War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube, who argued that he could not lead former fighters when he was not one of them.
“I don’t know what he (Dube) means when he questions my war credentials. I was vetted, and after all, he is not the right person to say that or question me. I am not fond of talking to the media about people’s war history. That is not what is important, but if he wants me to, I will tell it about him,” Mlala said. “He knows me, and I know him. I am not a bogus war veteran.”
Mlala on Sunday led a meeting of war veterans at Davies Hall in Bulawayo, demanding that President Robert Mugabe fires Dube.
Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene leads a faction of war veterans that is struggling to find its space within the ex-fighters of which, Mlala is a leading figure.
The Chimene faction has called for Dube’s sacking as minister following the career soldier’s recent statements that Mugabe must anoint a successor or at the very least groom one.
Mlala tried to explain his role in the war.
“My credentials are very clear. I came back to Zimbabwe in 1980 having finished training at the end of 1973 before deployment. I was in the frontline in 1974, I was in Mozambique in 1976 and in 1978 I was in Lusaka.
“In 1979, I was still in Zambia and in 1980 I came here commanding the disabled
and we opened the Ntabazinduna Hlangabeza rehabilitation centre,” Mlala added.
Dube rejected any knowledge of Mlala.
“I just hear his name coming up. He is new to me. He does not impress me. I do not have to be appointed by them to be a minister,” Dube was quoted saying.