‘Defiant war vets won’t lose pensions’
THE Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Ex-political detainees and Restrictees, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, has refuted reports claiming that war veterans led by Mr Christopher Mutsvangwa risk losing their benefits from the Government if they refuse to recognise the new executive.
Rtd Col Dube said all bona-fide war veterans, regardless of their political affiliation, had the right to their benefits.
Some sections of the media yesterday reported that Rtd Col Dube said members of the Mutsvangwa-led executive risked losing their benefits if they remained defiant.
Mr Mutsvangwa and his executive have refused to recognise the government-appointed executive led by Cde Robert Ncube.
Rtd Col Dube yesterday described the claims as fallacious and aimed at causing confusion and disputes among war veterans and the Government.
“My ministry is there to administer benefits to all veterans of the liberation struggle who were vetted and admitted as such in terms of the War Veterans Act.
“This is a constitutional right which is available to every vetted and legally recognised war veteran regardless of their political affiliation. Mutsvangwa and his colleagues are still eligible for benefits which they are entitled to,” said Rtd Col Dube.
He said his ministry would not under any circumstances suspend the benefits that they are entitled to unless there is a reason which restricts the Ministry to do so in terms of the War Veterans Act and the Constitution.
“The issue of leadership in the association is not my ministry’s mandate. My ministry’s functions are purely administrative and do not extend to the appointment of leaders in the association.
“The appointment is by an independent organisation which has its own constitution that guides them on appointments and expulsions of its members,” said Rtd Col Dube.
He added that the Ministry would not allow divisions that are fuelled by people who are bent on causing chaos in the ministry and in the association.
“I strongly deny the statements which are alleged to have been made by myself in the News Day article, which may cause animosity and tension between the Government and the war veterans.
“Our aim is to unify the war veterans and not cause divisions. We aim to persuade other comrades to reconsider some of their decisions so that we work together in harmony,” said Rtd Col Dube.