SHARP divisions have rocked war veterans and Zanu-PF top leadership in Mashonaland Central over the past few months, as a result of mistrust, NewsDay reported.
So serious are divisions between the two groups that former Tourism deputy minister Walter Kanhanga, a retired soldier, was reportedly forced to flee from a Zanu-PF meeting in Guruve last week after being labelled a G40 sympathiser.
Sources said the provincial executive, led by chairperson, Kazembe Kazembe, had denied the war veterans leadership resources to travel to Zambia for an exchange programme.
Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister Martin Dinha had written to the war veterans provincial leadership, notifying them of a trip to Zambia to commemorate the massacre of liberation war fighters and civilians in that country by Rhodesian forces in March 1978, but Kazembe’s executive allegedly refused to provide resources for the trip.
Both Kanhanga and Dinha declined to comment over the matter, referring all questions to Kazembe.
Contacted for comment, Kazembe dismissed the claims as “nonsense”, but referred the matter to the provincial politburo member and Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri.
“That is all nonsense. It’s rubbish. If you want more information or anything to do with the province, call Shiri, he is waiting for your call. I will send you his number,” he said.
Shiri was not available for comment.
Another source said the friction between Kazembe and the war veterans has degenerated into a power struggle, with leading figures and their supporters being targeted for either suspension or recall.
“There are moves to recall the likes of influential youth leader, Godfrey Tsenengamu and war veteran, Batsirai Musona was unceremoniously removed from his position as secretary for security for undisclosed reasons.
“They are also targeting provincial war veterans chairman, Sam Parirenyatwa, who they view as being too influential. Kazembe boycotted a war veterans’ meeting despite his position as chairperson because he has issues with them,” the source said.
Parirenyatwa refused to be drawn into the matter, saying: “I have nothing to say, Zanu-PF issues will be discussed internally if there are any.”