Angry war collaborators seek Mugabe audience

Pupurai Togarepi

DISGRUNTLED former liberation war collaborators have demanded an audience with President Robert Mugabe to register their displeasure over government’s failure to compensate them for the role they played during the liberation struggle.


Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators’ Association (Ziliwaco) national chairman Pupurai Togarepi told NewsDay that he was under pressure from his membership to force through a meeting with Mugabe over the issue.

“War collaborators are angry even with me. They somehow think I have somehow benefited from the positions I have in the ruling party to the extent that I have now mellowed on our demands to be recognised just as happened with war veterans,” he said.

“Our members bore the brunt of the war because these were civilians with no defence of any sort of security, but who dealt with both the enemy and the liberation fighters. In most instances, they turned into the biggest victims because they could not be trusted by both sides.”

Togarepi said Ziliwaco members ordered him to organise a meeting with Mugabe or begin preparations to sue the government for breach of constitutional provisions.

“War veterans got compensation because they used all manner of tactics including demonstrations and other things. We have remained humble, but this is how we are repaid for being obedient. There is need to respect the men and women who sacrificed their lives for this
country. Some women have children whose fathers they do not know.

“Others are ridiculed by both their families and husbands accused of being loose just because they were abused by liberation war fighters. These are scars our members are living with every day. Our members are not asking for cash, but some sort of recognition such as medals or non-monetary benefits like not paying medical fees. As long as it is coming from the government, we will appreciate that gesture,” Togarepi said.

“Around the time the President met war veterans in early April he gave a commitment that he would also meet war collaborators, but nothing has been communicated thus far.

“The other thing is that the Minister responsible for the Welfare of War Veterans, War Collaborators and Restrictees, Tshinga Dube, promised, when he was deputy minister, that by March this year our members would all have been vetted, but nothing has happened. It seems government has decided to abrogate its duty not only to the war collaborators, but also to the Constitution which recognises us.”

But Dube yesterday dismissed the war collaborators’ claims.

“We never promised that we would vet anyone, but said their issues would be looked at once we have finished the re-alignment of laws. We are still working on the realignment,” he said, adding Mugabe never promised to meet them.

Most Zimbabweans helped in one way or another in the war effort in the struggle that brought majority rule and might qualify as war collaborators, a situation that could create headaches for Mugabe’s administration after the huge compensation paid out to war veterans in 1997 precipitated a massive economic meltdown.


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  2. What about us who were abused while in the wombs of our mothers by them attending pungwes or dodging the Rhodesian army, how are we going to be compensated? How about those who were born in exile to the liberation fighters?
    This is utter rubbish. Rectify the economy and then all will benefit not this free meal thing, get a brain you brainless Pupurayi, uri kupupura rubbish.




  4. I am one of the few war victims having stayed in two different restriction camps (ma keep) during 1975 and 1976 at Marembera and Kaseke schools in uzumba . I beg to differ with those people who want to trouble our president by claiming compensation for being mujibhas or chombwidos. Next will be mothers and fathers who cooked for the comrades, then the end result will be an economic disaster . Stop it guys lets work , look around your self and grab opportunities.

  5. The problem with most Zimbabweans is that they speak from their hearts not minds. Here is a section of our society presenting a genuine grievance and instead of engaging in reasoned debate they are roundly abused! Jesus Christ! No wonder why we never find answers to our problems. We shall forever be cursed!

  6. If war collaborators are compensated then the mothers who risked their lives cooking for the fighters will have to be compensated. Even the fathers played a role. Everybody had a part to play. Its not only Zimbabwe that went to war. Many countries world over and the norm is only war veterans are compensated in monetary terms.

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  7. why did people not complain when war vets were compensated what difference does that make, during the war war collaborators and war vets were hand and gloves, one could not do without the other, so why people complain for war collaborators, why not war vets , they were compensated why

  8. I think the war collaborators like ZANU PF thugs have forgotten how the liberation struggle was waged. A lot more parties played different roles, but as we come from my remote and abused Mudzi district, we are forgotten for the role we played. We do not want to be paid though, we want justice and true democracy. We are hard workers and even oversupply Mbare Musika with fresh produce. We are in abject poverty because the so called ZANU PF government belongs to a small group of thugs, masquerading as patriots and nationalists and they shortchange us when we bring our produce to the market. Most of our communities are difficult to reach as the roads are in bad shape. We are simply demanding accountability from the ZANU PF mafia government. I repeat, we do not want to be paid, as we can work for ourselves. We only ask for an end to abuse. Even when our communities are not reachable, we can survive without the this mafia government. We are always abused during elections and they have consistently misinformed the public that we support ZANU PF. This time around, we will take the enemy head on. We are prepared.

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