War vets cry foul

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) also accused government of neglecting their medical needs.

WAR veterans have accused government officials of corruptly withdrawing their farm offer letters and kicking them out of their allocated land.

In a central committee report released after the Zanu PF national conference, the ex-combatants association bemoaned the poor welfare of the veterans of the liberation struggle.

“Some war veterans who had benefited were dispossessed of their land through dubious means by corrupt government officials. The affected comrades must be given back their land which they fought for and be allowed to utilise it to contribute to the economic development of the nation,” the report read.

“Many former combatants are still landless despite their significant contribution towards fighting for that land. The league’s offices at the national headquarters are always inundated by veterans who are being mistreated on the farms. Offer letters are being withdrawn for no apparent reason and sometimes farms are being unjustifiably downsized.”

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) also accused government of neglecting their medical needs.

“A significant number of war veterans came back from the war with terrible injuries and medical complications that were not attended to early. Some are now showing up with presumptive medical conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorders which need referrals. A growing number of aging veterans are succumbing to medical conditions that are otherwise treatable due to lack of specialist treatment,” the report read.

The ex-combatants also complained about the measly pension payouts they are getting.

“The current monthly pensions for veterans have been eroded by inflation. The current monthly payouts have become unsustainable,” the report read.

The war veterans’ league said even funding for funerals and reburials for deceased former freedom fighters was not forthcoming.

“The league is appealing to the party and government to honour the resolutions. We also request exemption of duty, tollgate fees and tax,” the report read.

War veterans have always played a crucial role in Zanu PF election campaigns where they have been accused of terrorising opposition supporters.

In return, Zanu PF has promised to pamper the ex-combatants with freebies and other benefits.

In 1997, war veterans were given $50 000 each for their role during the armed struggle against British colonial rule.


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