The ruling ZANU PF party has issued a directive that certain senior positions in the party from the cell level up to the provincial level be reserved for war veterans.
The directive is considered to be a brainchild of the party’s military element that considers itself the “stockholders” of the party.
A memo dated April 10 and issued by party political commissar, Engelbert Rugeje, who retired from the army after the military coup that ousted former President Robert Mugabe in 2017 reads:
You will recall that the December 2017 Zanu PF extraordinary congress endorsed a resolution on the elevation of war veterans of the liberation struggle both in the party and government.
Pursuant to this resolution, you are by way of this circular directed to ensure that war veterans are incorporated into the main wing party structures from cell to provincial level in view of the restructuring exercise.
The posts of political commissar or deputy political commissar from cell level to provincial level should preferably be filled by war veterans.
The posts of secretary for security and deputy secretary for security from cell level to provincial level should be preferably filled by war veterans.
War veterans have at times been at loggerheads with the party’s “Young Turks” who feel uneasy due to perceived marginalisation by the older generation that fought in the 1970s bush war against a minority white settler regime.