‘De­fi­ant war vets won’t lose pen­sions’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba Se­nior Reporter

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.

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