Ignore defunct Mutsvangwa-affiliated ZNLWVA fronted by Douglas Mahiya: War veterans

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The Secretary of the ZANU (PF) War Veterans League, Douglas Mahiya is reportedly misleading the nation, riding on an expired mandate of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), in a desperate effort to seek relevance, Cde Samuel Getbusy Simbini Mhlanga, the ZNLWVA National Interim Secretary for Information and Publicity has said.


The ZNLWVA was founded in 1985 by Cde Samuel Mhlanga and Cde Ronnie Masango. It was initially called the Chinhoyi Veterans Association (CVA).

Following the signing of the unity accord in 1987, ZNLWVA then moved to establish a national committee. Becoming national before the Unity Accord would have resulted in fellow ZIPRA combatants forming their own, a situation that would have compromised the coming together of the two liberation war political parties of ZAPU and ZANU.

A war veterans’ Constitution was developed in 1987 with the help of President Mnangagwa who was the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

The ZNLWVA was launched in Chinhoyi in 1989 and Justice Cde Charles Hungwe was elected national chairman. Founder members of the association, in the spirit of unity, had a gentlemen’s agreement not in the constitution, that the national chairmanship rotates between ZANLA and ZIPRA.

This arrangement was observed when the late Dr. Chenjerai Hitler Hunzvi assumed the chairmanship in Gweru. But it was abandoned when the late Hunzvi mobilised war veterans to remain in office at Umzingwani conference until his demise.

At the next conference in Mutare, Cde Jabulani Sibanda, a Zipra combatant was elected national chairman and re-elected in Bindura, Mashonaland Central.

It was in 2014 when Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa, a ZANLA combatant was elected to the post of chairman in Masvingo.

From 2014 to 2024, Cde Mutsvangwa has not called for an annual general meeting, ignoring provisions of the ZNLWVA constitution and the PVO Act.

Due to the proliferation of PVOs in the country, most of them being used as fronts for proponents of regime change, the government came up with a PVO Amendment bill. As a result of this bill, most PVOS that did not adhere to the provisions of the PVO Act were deregistered.

The ZNLWVA was also supposed to be deregistered but the officers in the office of the Registrar of PVOs thought of calling Cde Mutsvangwa as chairman and discussing with him how to save the association from being deregistered. Cde Mutsvangwa is reported to have ignored them.

The officers then saw the names of Cde Samuel Mhlanga and Cde Moffat Elias Marashwa in the ZNLWVA files and decided to contact them. They managed to contact Cde Marashwa who then contacted Samuel and advised that THEY were invited to the Ministry of Social Welfare to discuss the future of the znlwva. Due to distance (Chipinge), Cde Mhlanga then told Cde Marashwa to attend and brief him later, which he did.

They were tasked to convene a meeting of founder members, form an interim committee, mobilise members, and then hold a conference to elect the national leadership.

Cde Mhlanga generated WhatsApp messages to many war veterans’ WhatsApp chat groups inviting founder members and those who were interested in resuscitating the ZNLWVA to register with him and Cde Phenias Marikomo of Makonde district in Mashonaland West Province. Many comrades responded and they then selected two per province to attend a meeting in Chegutu on 28 January 2023 where they chose Cde Marashwa as National Interim Chairman and Cde Ethan Mathibela as vice interim chairman.

They came up with a roadmap to follow in the ZNLWVA resuscitation which was:-

  1. Introduce members of the interim committee to the Ministry of Public Service,  Labour, and Social Welfare (done).
  2. Introduce the members of the interim committee to the ruling party ZANU (PF) party (done on 6 April 2023 when they paid a courtesy call to Hon. Vice President, Cde Mohadi at Zanu PF headquarters) please note that the Vice Chairman Cde Mathibela did not turn up.
  3. Resolved to open a national bank account with ZB Bank MSASA branch ( done nostro account number 147887405).
  4. They resolved that war veterans who want to be members of the ZNLWVA will have to deposit their subscription fee in the association account. (members are depositing the membership subscriptions. The war vets are encouraged that even senior members of the party and government are paying).
  5. They also resolved that the membership subscription fees deposited in the national account would not be withdrawn until after the elective conference (that resolution is still standing).
  6. Submit membership register to the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social welfare (done at the end of 2023 with a membership of more than 300 paid up).
  7. They then tasked the national interim committee chairman, Cde Marashwa to approach the patron, HE Cde ED Mnangagwa for assistance with funds to cover the elective conference (done).
  8. They instructed Cde Marashwa to submit his request in writing and leave it with his party secretary (done).
  9. Cde Marashwa was then asked to meet the Zanu (PF) Treasurer-general, Cde Patric Chinamasa which he did, accompanied by the vice interim chairman, Cde Thabie Shoko, and the national interim committee finance secretary, Cde J. Terera.
  10. Making some follow-up, the chairman was told to collect the money on Friday 08 February 2024.
  11. But when he went to Cde Chinamasa’s office to collect the money, he was told by Cde Chinamasa that he could not give him the money because there was Cde Jowel Murerembwa who also wanted the money. Cde Chinamasa said he was going to consult HE before releasing the money to Cde Marashwa.

It is not known how Cde Murerembwa got to know about the fact that Cde Marashwa was to be given money by Cde Chinamasa.

“Cde Murerembwa who is suspected to be a bogus war veteran was ZNLWVA national secretary for war veterans in the defunct committee of Cde Mutsvangwa. He was once made national PC and was then removed and replaced by Cde Joseph Chinotimba. At the moment the committee is not stable as some provincial chairs are claiming national positions.

“We have discovered that all along the ZNLWVA was operating disregarding the PVO Act and the registrar of PVOs was spleeping on duty resulting in the ZNLWVA leadership thinking it was normal not to submit reports to the government. The national interim committee led by Cde Marashwa is addressing this anomaly. The association has been operating without paid-up members. The interim committee is correcting that.

“Lastly, it is important to note that from 2014 to early 2023, the committee of Cde Mutsvangwa was very comfortable seeking the constitution and only started to move when they realised that we had formed the ZNLWVA interim committee,” said Cde Mhlanga.

It was the ZNLWVA National Interim Committee, led by chairman Cde Marashwa and national interim committee member, Cde Nyati, who visited spirit mediums in Mashonaland Central, Mashonalnd West, Masvingo, and Matebeleland South requesting their spiritual intervention so that ZANU PF would win the 23-24 August 2023 harmoniseed elections which it won resoundingly.

“We are proud that we have support from our party Zanu PF and our patron, HE Cde E.D Mnangagwa. We have deliberately not mentioned much about why Cde Mathibela has moved on and declared himself national chairman. The social media was awash with him and his committee at the South Korean Embassy, and CCC mayors of Harare and Bulawayo offices respectively, shunning the Zanu PF leadership and showing his side. We strongly feel and hope that on Monday, Cde Chinamasa, after consulting HE, will release the money so that we hold our elective conference this month,” Cde Mhlanga added.

There were no responses to questions sent to Cde Mathibela and Cde Mutsvangwa by the time of going to print.