Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa has torched a storm with war veteran’s leader Victor Matemadanda who is now Deputy Minister of Defence when he said he is going to recognise war veterans unlike the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front which only uses them and then dumps them.
Welcoming former ZANU-PF member Dzikamai Mavhaire who defected from former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party with several others to join the MDC, Chamisa said his party was going to amend its constitution to create a wing for war veterans.
“We want to go back to the nationalist ethos and because our role is to grow the party, that is the trajectory we will take. So, we are going to amend our constitution to create a wing for our war veterans,” he said according to the Daily News.
“We are not like ZANU-PF that wants to only use them and dump them. We want to fuse them into the party. We will also not waste talent by relegating the likes of Mavhaire to the periphery.
“We will accommodate you at the top because you are our hero. I grew up admiring you especially when you first called for Mugabe to go. That was courage because he was dangerous, you could have been killed.”
Matemadanda, who described Chamisa as the son of a former Rhodesia solider, said it was naïve for the leader of a national party to think that any person who once belonged to ZANU-PF was a war veteran.
“This is a clear sign of desperation,” Matemadanda was quoted by the Herald as saying.
“May he respectfully be told that if Mavhaire is a war veteran, then he is the class of Chamisa’s father, a Rhodesian war veteran and not the veteran of the liberation struggle.”
Matemadanda said several war veterans had been elevated within the party like Douglas Mahiya and Headmna Moyo.
“If Chamisa lives in Zimbabwe he should know that Mahiya is my deputy in the politburo and that he is full time secretary in my department.
“Cde Headman Moyo is a director in the same department. In fact, the department has several war veterans. We are not like him who is only concerned about himself.
“The President has already done a lot to improve the life of the war veterans. President Mnangagwa and the entire war veterans’ leadership are called to serve their people and they are all happy,” Matemadanda said.