War collaborators demand compensation

HARARE - Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators Association (Zilwaco) has demanded that government compensates its members for the role they played in the liberation struggle.

The demand comes 17 years after war veterans arm-twisted President Robert Mugabe into an agreement that precipitated the country’s economic meltdown.

Zilwaco national chairman Pupurai Togarepi told a news conference yesterday in Harare that it was high time government acknowledges the role war collaborators played in the armed struggle.

“We want war collaborators to be given compensation,” Togarepi said.

He did not state what exactly they were demanding.

“We cannot say how much but it is up to the government to come up with the figure but we are looking at something substantive,” he said.

The Zilwaco chairman said he was alive to the economic challenges and as a short term measure the government could award them non-monetary benefits.

“For example, we can get free medication in public hospitals,” he said.

“We can also be exempted from paying tax and that is a benefit to us.”

Togarepi urged President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF to promulgate a law that would empower war collaborators.

“The new Constitution recognises us and the ruling party has over two thirds majority in Parliament.

“So we expect that they promulgate a law that will empower us and alleviate us from poverty. The government should do something as soon as possible.”

The 1997 gratuity pay-out to war veterans represented a rare capitulation to pressure by Mugabe and since they were not budgeted for, came at a huge cost to the country’s economy.

Analysts blame the payments for what came to be known as “Black Friday” when markets crashed and the Zimbabwe dollar crashed and lost nearly half its value in a single day.

Comments (3)

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werason - 10 October 2014

I am also a Mujibha-War-Veteran. Thinking of it, our activities were more risky compared to those of constantly armed comrades. Sometimes I feel "boys" were using us younger people as cannon fodder. Yes I am for compensation although I am not active in the Zilwaco..

selele - 10 October 2014

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