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New war veterans’ body emerges

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Disgruntled former Zipra and Zanla members have formed a new welfare organisation, the Zimbabwe War Veterans’ Trust, to fight for better living conditions for the country’s former liberation war fighters.

War Veterans’ Trust board member Chester Chizema said his organisation would complement efforts by four other war veterans’ bodies fighting for the same cause.

“We started this trust about a month ago. We registered in May this year. It’s a non-membership trust with three trustees from Zanla and three from Zipra. We are not substituting what the existing war veterans’ associations are doing.

“This is supposed to be a trust with a fund to assist the war veterans and their families in undertaking projects. We have realised that the government has not been genuine enough in the rehabilitation and compensation of war veterans. Whatever came in 1997 was piecemeal. As such, the problems of the war veterans have not been addressed at all,” he said.

The formation of the Zimbabwe War Veterans’ Trust means that there are now at least five organisations representing the interests of the former freedom fighters.

There is the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association led by Jabulani Sibanda, its splinter group led by Joseph Chinotimba, the Zipra Veterans’ Trust led by Retired Colonel Ray Ncube and the Zimbabwe Liberators’ Platform led by Max Mkandla.

Chizema said the new organisation’s board comprised Colonel Bastin Beta, Alois Chineri and Buster Chigwendere drawn from Zanla.

“From Zipra we have Retired Brigadier-General Colin Moyo, myself (Chizema) and Fred Mutanda. We want to co-opt some other people. All these trustees were senior commanders during the liberation struggle. We are moving away from being a partisan association to a trust. The difference between us and other organisations is that others are membership-driven. They go for elections. We are a non-membership trust. What we do is to source funds and then talk to the war veterans to give us projects,” he said.

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