War veterans leader arrested while attending bail hearing of another war vet


Harare – POLICE in Harare have arrested a leading official of the veterans association as he stepped out of a courthouse where a colleague was answering charges of insulting the president.

Victor Matemadanda, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, is the second official detained in a crackdown on the association’s leaders.

The once-loyal supporters of President Robert Mugabe last month turned on him, issuing a harshly worded statement describing him as “dictatorial.” The group once was quick to defend him even with violence.

The association’s spokesman, Douglas Mahiya, has been in detention since Wednesday.

Irene Petras, director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, says Matemadanda faces the same charge as Mahiya, insulting or undermining the authority of the president.

The nonprofit organization has been providing lawyers for the arrested veterans.