WAR collaborators have to wait for the alignment of the War Veterans of the Liberation Struggle (Rights and Benefits) Bill to be eligible for monthly pensions and other related benefits for their role during the war.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
The Bill provides a legal basis for the vetting of non-combatants and war collaborators so that they can receive compensation from the government for their contributions during the armed struggle, even though they were not at the war front.
War collaborators are not receiving any monthly payouts like war veterans, and neither did they receive the ZW$50 000 that was given to ex-combatants in 1997.
Defence and War Veterans deputy minister Victor Matemadanda said only after the Bill has been aligned to the Constitution can the war collaborators start receiving monthly pensions and other benefits like their counterparts.
“There are three or more categories of war veterans. The first category is for the detainees and restrictees. The second is for the combatants; the third is for the non-combatants and the fourth is for the war collaborators.
“War detainees and restrictees were being vetted from the time we started. Those that come forward even today can be vetted. That goes also for the combatants. However, for the non-combatants, the law is being aligned to include them, including the war collaborators. So, we are awaiting the alignment of laws to finalise the vetting process,”
Matemadanda told Senate last week when asked by Chief Fortune Charumbira when war collaborators would be recognised for their role during the liberation struggle.
Currently, the War Veterans Act and the Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees Act provides the framework for administering war veterans’ affairs.
Government has been vetting and registering war collaborators to ensure their eligibility for monthly pensions and other related benefits for their role during the armed struggle.
In 1997, angry war veterans pressured former President Robert Mugabe to pay them ZW$50 000 gratuities and other benefits for their role in the liberation struggle.
War veterans have been a vital cog of the ruling Zanu PF during elections, spearheading the party’s campaigns.