FORMER Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) cadres met in Bulawayo last week and resolved to engage President Emmerson Mnangagwa to air their grievances over a number of issues, which they claim were ignored by former President Robert Mugabe over the past 37 years.
BY SILAS NKALA
Zipra Veterans Association secretary-general, Petros Sibanda, said some of the grievances include neglect of the majority of their members by the Zanu PF government.
“We remember there was a process of alignment of the War Veterans Act to the Constitution, which was initiated by then minister of War Veterans, Tshinga Dube. We are not sure, if that process will continue,” he said.
Sibanda said they would also lobby for the return of their properties confiscated by Mugabe’s administration soon after independence. Zipra and Zapu lost several properties including farms during the Gukurahundi.
“There is a caveat, which prevents a party from interfering in the property ownership and we want that law to be regularised and have that cover removed to enable those who had their property taken unfairly claiming it back without hindrance,” he said.
Sibanda said they also want Gukurahundi information declassified.
“The issue of classification of information is still of concern to us. There must be declassification of that information,” he said.
“There are some people, who ran away from the country during political disturbances in 1980s [Gukurahundi] and even to date, they still live abroad. They fear returning home because people get arrested for crimes they do not know. The law says the classified information must expire after five years and we want that done so that our comrades, who are in hiding, are allowed to come back, this country belongs to them too and everyone must be free in it.”
Sibanda said they will engage Mnangagwa’s special advisor, Christopher Mutsvangwa, to facilitate the meeting with the President.