Zipra cadres snub
Minister trashes ‘baseless’ claims
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