Interim war vets leadership wants Chinotimba probed

Blessing Zulu

THE interim leadership of the war veterans’ association has said Joseph Chinotimba must be vetted again to ascertain his liberation war credentials, the Zimbabwe Independen

t has established.

Chinotimba riled the national war veterans’ leadership when he vied for the contentious chairmanship.

The war veterans this year announced that President Robert Mugabe would be their honorary chairman.

Chinotimba was subsequently suspended as chairman of Harare province by the Patrick Nyaruwata-led national executive which has written to the Ministry of Defence, the parent ministry of the war veterans, to investigate Chinotimba’s war record. They have proposed the setting up of an inter-ministerial committee to probe Chinotimba.

Nyaruwata, who took over in an acting capacity when Chenjerai Hunzvi died in 2001, confirmed the letter but refused to discuss the matter further.

“The letter has been written to the Defence ministry,” said Nyaruwata.

“The suspension still stands but we have given Chinotimba some work to do this week. We will re-visit the issue again next week. This week we do not want such issues to distract us (from dealing with mass action),” said Nyaruwata.

Chinotimba is accused by the war veterans leaders of gross indiscipline after he campaigned to challenge President Mugabe for the chairmanship.

Chinotimba this week told the Independent he was still the chairman of Harare province.

“Those people cannot ‘re-vet’ me, they are talking rubbish,” he said.

“I do not want to talk about that in the press, I am a party sympathiser. I am still the chairman of Harare province.
I do not know whom they chased. I do not know where these people are coming from,” said an irate Chinotimba.

This is not the first time that war veterans have questioned the credentials of Chinotimba. In August 2001 his colleagues in the war veterans’ association told the Independent that they had no knowledge of Chinotimba’s war record. The war veterans said Chinotimba crossed into Mozambique in late 1979 as a refugee.