War vets demand dues

HARARE - Agitated war veterans, who claim to be owed millions of dollars in outstanding allowances by the government, say President Robert Mugabe and not opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai should pay them their money as the nonagenarian was the one who had benefited the most from their liberation war efforts.

This comes as poverty, disease and neglect continue to claim the lives of many genuine former freedom fighters, as Zimbabwe’s economy continues to die — amid the ruling Zanu PF’s seemingly unstoppable tribal, factional and succession wars.

The sentiments also follow the weekend’s Daily News interview with Tsvangirai who said he would take good care of the war veterans once he is elected into high office.

But a bitter spokesperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), Douglas Mahiya, said since the country attained its independence from Britain in 1980, war veterans had been neglected by the government, which had an obligation to look after them.

“Our children are not going to school and war veterans who were injured during the liberation struggle are not getting treatment. Many are also dying and not getting proper burials.

“War veterans programmes which were supposed to ease them back into society were not fulfilled, and so what are they expected to do?

“Are we supposed to go back to Mozambique and ask them to rehabilitate us? War veterans are suffering and it is only this Zanu PF government that should address those problems.

“If Tsvangirai comes into power, it is not his responsibility to do this because the MDC did not fight the war. It is Zanu PF’s responsibility to solve these problem now,” Mahiya fumed.

Since the mid-1970s, war veterans have anchored Mugabe’s leadership of Zanu PF, including the ruling party’s election campaigns after 1980 — waging brutal campaigns against Tsvangirai and the MDC since 1999.

However, the former freedom fighters appear to have since had a Damascene moment, and are now not only opposed to Mugabe, but are also warming up to Tsvangirai.

“Nothing has happened since June 7 last year, and government now owes us more than $46 million. We are also not benefitting from the scholarships that some are getting,” Mahiya said yesterday.

Last year, the government was forced to pay the disaffected war veterans $6 million to cover first term school fees for their children, but Mahiya said the figure was “a drop in the ocean”.

“When we went to war, we were fighting for Zimbabwe and if any leader wants to observe the Constitution, he should pay us because that is the right and legal thing to do.

“While the role we play is observed in the Constitution, this government is failing to meet its obligations,” he added.

Comments (6)

Really fuckin blood suckers.

gearge bango - 7 February 2017

These war vets also shouldn't expect so many handouts! whats that saying;teach a man how to fish instead of giving him fish. Mugabe's goverment has engineered a system where by large parts of our population are dependent on handouts,and food relief.This maintains some power and leverage over people especially rural inhabitants.Because of our governments policies our country can't grow significantly, we are on autopilot. We need more commercial farms, this earns huge forex which can than be invested in infrastructure etc. We need laws that invite people to invest in the country and not turn away. We can't move forward with this pseudo Marxist ideology sprinkled with corrupt individuals in the highest levels of government.

Young Zimbo - 8 February 2017

Mahiya &n co - why were you fighting so hard to prop up a non-performing govt? Are you so slow in thinking that it took you 36 years to figure out what some of us noticed in weeks?

Sagitarr - 8 February 2017

The Mahiya&co are a selfish lot. They think those who were based in Moza are the only real war vets. What school kids are they talking about anyway?

Dlodlo - 8 February 2017

Mahiya don't try to be smart knowing very well that u and ur friends unleashed a blood campaign to keep ur monster master at the helm of our beloved country,innocent lives were lost because of u,i remember Jabulani Sibanda when he came to my rural homestead in Mat North he boasted on how murderous he was together with his colleagues as they had killed many people in Mashonaland during election runoff, we had enough of u and i wish the incoming gvt must persecute you warvets as you thinks you are above the law,okungapheliyo kuyahlola mnumzana sokuze kwakufica lawe.

Mxolisi Ngonyama - 8 February 2017

To say Tsvangirai should not tale care of war veterans is just as misplaced. Since this is government Obligation, whoever is Chosen by Zimbabweans should look back at the Liberation War Heroes, including Mugabe. Ist just about payouts but also honour.

selele - 8 February 2017

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