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Govt vets war collaborators, ex-detainees for gratuities

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WAR Veterans minister Tshinga Dube has disclosed that his ministry has started vetting and registering war collaborators and ex-detainees to enable them to start receiving monthly pensions and other related benefits in recognition of the role they played during the armed struggle.

WAR Veterans minister Tshinga Dube has disclosed that his ministry has started vetting and registering war collaborators and ex-detainees to enable them to start receiving monthly pensions and other related benefits in recognition of the role they played during the armed struggle.

By NQOBANI NDLOVU

Tshinga Dube
Tshinga Dube

Dube told Southern Eye in Bulawayo at the weekend that they were working on aligning four laws — the War Veterans Act, Ex-Political Detainees and Restrictees Act, National Heroes Act and War Victims Compensation Act — to the Constitution to expedite the process.

“. . . we have also collaborators, who need to be vetted,” he explained.

“We are now working on the alignment of the laws to the Constitution and once this is completed, everything will be alright, but we are not waiting.

“Already we are starting [with] registering all the war collaborators. So, we are not sitting, we are really working hard to ensure that this is completed.”

The Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators’ Association (Ziliwaco) has, since the 1990s, been pushing for the government to recognise and give its members gratuities and monthly pensions similar to those given to war veterans when they door-stepped President Robert Mugabe in 1997.

Dube said his ministry was also making frantic efforts to unite war veterans ahead of their scheduled meeting with Mugabe in Harare at the end of the month.

“We are doing everything to unite the war veterans, but we can only persuade them to unite,” he said.

“But that is not our main problem or challenge. The main challenge is that we have to satisfy their welfare, and they themselves will eventually see the urgency and the importance of uniting because it is much easier to work with people who are united.

“This is what we have been sorting out. As soon as all this is sorted out, we will ask the President for an indaba, and we think very soon, we should be ready for indaba, maybe [soon], but we should be ready.”

Mugabe last met war veterans in April last year, where the latter demanded, among other things, an improvement in their welfare.

War veterans have been a vital cog in Zanu PF’s machinery during elections, spearheading the party’s campaigns, but their relationship with Mugabe became frosty, after the ex-combatants wrote a communiqué calling on him to step down.

The fallout resulted in the expulsion of Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association leader Christopher Mutsvangwa, his deputy Headman Moyo, secretary-general Victor Matemadanda, spokesperson Douglas Mahiya and political commissar Francis Nhando, from Zanu PF.