Chaos mars war vets screening

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Defence and War Veterans Affairs minister Oppah Muchinguri

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
THE vetting exercise of non-combatant cadres and war collaborators has been marred with controversy amid claims the process is flawed and exclusionary.

Defence and War Veterans Affairs minister Oppah Muchinguri launched an exercise to vet war collaborators, ex-political prisoners, detainees, restrictees and war veterans on March 14.

According to the general outline of the vetting exercise, non-combatant cadres and ex-political prisoners, detainees and restrictees are being vetted at provincial level across the  country’s 10 provinces.

Non-combatant cadres are being vetted by war veterans familiar with various transit camps.

However, the process has been marred by chaos amid claims that some deserving cases are being disqualified on account of mistakes on their identity documents (IDs).

“For example, my ID says I am 57 when I am now 59 years. This is because after the war those who wanted to go to school had to change their birth records so that they could be in the same age group with their peers at school,” one of the applicants, Tiki Denenga, from Chigwedere, Hwedza, said.

“But now, we have become victims because of these changes in birth records. We are being told we don’t qualify. This has disqualified many people and yet we made contributions during the liberation struggle.”

Another applicant, David Muzira said: “My ID card says I am 58 years because I changed the record in order to go back to school. I am now 60 years old but they said I don’t qualify because my ID says I am 58 which is below the minimum requirement of 59 years. I feel the exercise is
unfair.”

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