Zimbabwe’s New Minister for Liberation War Veterans

The latest news and analysis on Zimbabwe’s politics and society

by Motoni Olodun

Zimbabwe has a new minister for veterans of the liberation struggle affairs, following the appointment of Monica Mavhunga by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mavhunga, a senator from Mashonaland Central province, replaces Christopher Mutsvangwa, who was sacked last month.

Mavhunga is the former minister of state for provincial affairs and development in Mashonaland Central. She is also a member of the ruling ZANU-PF party and a former liberation fighter who participated in the war against colonial rule in the 1970s.

According to a statement by the chief secretary to the president and cabinet, Martin Rushwaya, Mavhunga’s appointment is effective immediately. “In terms of Section 104 Subsection (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, His Excellency the President, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has appointed Honourable Monica Mavhunga, Senator, as the Minister of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs with immediate effect,” he said.

The ministry of veterans of the liberation struggle affairs is responsible for the welfare and recognition of the former freedom fighters, who are estimated to number around 34,000. The ministry also oversees the implementation of the National Liberation War Veterans Act, which grants various benefits and privileges to the veterans, such as pensions, health care, education, land, and business opportunities.

However, the ministry has faced several challenges, such as inadequate funding, corruption, and factionalism within the veterans’ association. Some veterans have also expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s policies and performance, and have called for reforms and dialogue.

Mavhunga’s appointment comes at a time when Zimbabwe is facing multiple crises, such as economic hardship, human rights violations, political instability, and social unrest. The country is also preparing for the 2025 general elections, which are expected to be highly contested and potentially violent.

Mavhunga’s role as the new minister for veterans of the liberation struggle affairs will be crucial in addressing the grievances and demands of the veterans, who are regarded as a key constituency and power base for the ruling party. She will also have to foster unity and cooperation among the veterans, who have been divided along political and ideological lines.

Mavhunga has not yet commented on her appointment or outlined her plans for the ministry. However, she is likely to face high expectations and pressure from the veterans, the government, and the public. She will also have to balance the interests and needs of the veterans with those of other sectors of society, especially the youth, who make up the majority of the population.

Mavhunga’s appointment is seen by some analysts as a strategic move by President Mnangagwa to consolidate his support and influence among the veterans, who have been instrumental in his rise to power. Mnangagwa, himself a veteran of the liberation war, came to power in 2017 after a military coup that ousted former president Robert Mugabe, who had fallen out with the veterans.

Mavhunga’s appointment is also seen as a sign of recognition and appreciation for the veterans’ contribution to the liberation and development of Zimbabwe. The veterans are widely respected and revered as heroes and heroines of the nation, who sacrificed their lives and limbs for the cause of freedom and justice.

Mavhunga’s appointment may also inspire hope and optimism for the future of Zimbabwe, as the country seeks to overcome its challenges and achieve its potential. Mavhunga’s experience and expertise as a former fighter, a provincial leader, and a senator may enable her to bring positive change and transformation to the ministry and the nation.


Source: The Herald

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