War vets falls behind Mliswa

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Disgruntled members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) in Norton have thrown their weight behind independent candidate, Temba Mliswa ahead of the forthcoming parliamentary by-elections to replace Christopher Mutsvangwa.

Incidentally, Mutsvangwa who was recently recalled from Parliament and fired from Zanu-PF for alleged defiance, is chairman of the war veterans’ association.

About 200 Norton-based war veterans yesterday met at Vimbai Primary School and endorsed Mliswa as their preferred candidate, but some residents have dismissed him as a “foreigner” and expressed doubts over his “independence”
War veterans’ Norton district chairperson, Joseph Chinyangari, said they decided to turn their backs on Zanu-PF in protest over the recent expulsion of their leaders from the ruling party.

“By expelling our leadership, Zanu-PF has made it clear that they have nothing to do with us and like wise, we have nothing to do with them from henceforth … We unanimously agreed to back Mliswa against any Zanu-PF candidate,” Chinyangani said.

Zanu-PF is yet to hold primaries to choose a candidate for the by-elections, whose dates are also still to be announced. So far, Zanu-PF has nine members vying to contest in its primary elections for the seat.

Another former freedom fighter, who only identified himself as Mvurumi said Norton by-elections would be a contest between war veterans backing Mliswa and Zanu-PF youths and their ruling party candidate.

ZNLWVA secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda, also sided with the decision by Norton war veterans.

“We are still to get feedback from the district, but you know a lot has changed. It’s no longer the case that we only campaign for a Zanu-PF candidate,” he said.

Matemadanda said previously war veterans supported Zanu-PF candidates in every election without questioning, but relations have soured following their fallout with President Robert Mugabe.

Zanu-PF is yet to hold primaries to choose a candidate for the by-elections, whose dates are also still to be anounced.

Meanwhile, Mliswa has accused Zanu-PF of defacing his campaign posters in the town.
Source – newsday

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