Zipra cadres snub

Min­is­ter trashes ‘base­less’ claims

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Aux­ilia Ka­ton­go­mara Chron­i­cle Re­porter

THE Gov­ern­ment has dis­missed as base­less claims that there is dis­crim­i­na­tion of for­mer Zipra forces in Gov­ern­ment.

The Min­is­ter of Wel­fare Ser­vices for War Veter­ans, War Col­lab­o­ra­tors, For­mer Po­lit­i­cal De­tainees and Restrictees, Re­tired Colonel Tshinga Dube, said both Zipra and Zanla com­bat­ants re­ceived the same treat­ment at In­de­pen­dence.

He told the House of Assem­bly last week that it was now ir­rel­e­vant to talk about the for­mer free­dom fight­ing units as they were in­te­grated at In­de­pen­dence in 1980.

Rtd Col Dube was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion by Mag­wegwe Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, Mr Anele Nde­bele (MDC-T), who had ac­cused the Gov­ern­ment of den­i­grat­ing and un­der­min­ing the ex­ploits of Zipra forces dur­ing the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle.

“The truth is that we no longer have Zipra Forces, we have for­mer Zipra and for­mer Zanla Forces. To be open with you, I was one of those who were in charge of in­te­grat­ing these forces in 1980. So, to now talk of Zipra Forces is not rel­e­vant,” said Rtd Col Dube.

“There is no dis­crim­i­na­tion what­so­ever be­tween for­mer Zipra and for­mer Zanla Forces. They have all been in­te­grated into the Zim­babwe Na­tional Army (ZNA). Those who were not in­te­grated, some of them are war veter­ans and are treated the same.”

He said the chal­lenge is with war veter­ans who did not reg­is­ter and are not re­ceiv­ing ben­e­fits from Gov­ern­ment.

“The prob­lem that we usu­ally face is that some com­rades did not reg­is­ter for vet­ting when they were called to do so. Those who did not go for vet­ting, it means they were not reg­is­tered as war veter­ans and as a re­sult they re­main out­side the ben­e­fits of the war veter­ans,” said Rtd Col Dube.

“How­ever, all those who were vet­ted and found to be true veter­ans of the lib­er­a­tion war have no rea­son to think that they are seg­re­gated in any way be­cause they get their pen­sions and con­sti­tu­tional rights ac­cord­ing to the law. So, it is not true that any group can be seg­re­gated in any way”.

Rtd Col Dube said vet­ting was still in progress and any war vet­eran who had not been vet­ted could go to the for­mer free­dom fight­ers’ of­fices dot­ted around the coun­try with the nec­es­sary re­quire­ments.

He said his min­istry was work­ing hard to se­cure the wel­fare of groups that took part in the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle.

“Some­times, re­sources are not read­ily avail­able, but we are do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to do what we are sup­posed to do.

“For in­stance, we talk of fees for their de­pen­dants. This has not been done on time some­times, but all the same when­ever re­sources get avail­able we dis­patch them ac­cord­ingly,” said Rtd Col Dube.

Last week, Rtd Col Dube said his min­istry was await­ing pay­ment from Trea­sury to set­tle school fees for the coun­try’s lib­er­a­tors’ chil­dren.

He added that his min­istry has de­vised a mech­a­nism to avoid fraud­u­lent school fee claims by ben­e­fi­cia­ries through pay­ing di­rectly to schools and col­leges. — Aux­il­iaK

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