Zimbabwe’s War Veterans Minister Tshinga Dube has described a Bulawayo war veterans leader, George Mlala, as a “thief of the highest order and a devil incarnate”.
Speaking in Mlala’s own turf at Stanley Square in Bulawayo, Dube said Mlala who is Mandi Chimene’s deputy in a discredited faction of the war veterans association was extorting cash from a Pakistani businessman whom he was helping to externalise money.
“He is working with a Pakistan businessman who owns a company that smuggles and packages rice and mealie meal which is rotten. They then externalise profits to Pakistan through Botswana.
“I have documents, which reveal all these corrupt tendencies. In October 2014, the Pakistani businessman externalised $4 million and Mlala approached him and he was given $30 000 protection fee. Uyahamba ayethatha imali okuthiwa yokuvala umphumelo. Uyenza into zokuganga lo ndoda (He takes protection money. This man is corrupt),” Dube was quoted by The Chronicle as saying.
The minister said Mlala and Chimene were working against the interests of the ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.
“He is working against the party and war veterans. He is destroying the party in Bulawayo and he even had the guts to impose himself as the party’s provincial secretary for security yet we know how corrupt he is. He is a thief of the highest order and a devil incarnate. There is only one war veterans association in the country not this group led Cdes Chimene and Mlala,” Dube said.
The minister said he did not recognise the war veterans faction led by Chimene because the leadership was not elected.
Christopher Mutsvangwa is the legitimate leader of the war veterans association and though he was expelled from both the government and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, he remains the legitimate leader.
“This faction led by Cde Chimene is accusing me of working with Cde Mutsvangwa. I am not the one who elected him but it is them through their congress. It is not my ministry which chooses the leadership of war veterans. President Mugabe did not kick Cde Mutsvangwa from his position in the war veterans’ association and if you don’t want him use the proper channels just like what you did when you removed Jabulani Sibanda,” Dube said.