Politicians letting us down: War vets

File pic: War veterans

VETERANS of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation struggle in Matabeleland North have accused political leaders of letting them down after they are elected into Parliament and council.

The war veterans accused legislators and councillors of abandoning them because none of them seem to bother to inquire about the challenges they face.

In 2001, the government allocated farmers, including war veterans, some communal wildlife conservancies in the timber and wildlife rich Emmergroon Estate, located along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Highway in the Gwayi area. The area is now bearing the brunt of neglect and marginalisation.

Speaking to NewsDay during a visit to Kusile district this week, Lupane war veterans district chairperson Jonathan Nkanyezi said they feel disrespected because political leaders in the district never consult them about anything.

“We always face so many challenges in this area. My worry is on all the leaders who are supposed to represent us in Parliament. We chose those people so that they can help us air our grievances to the President on our behalf, but they seem like they do not care at all,” Nkanyezi said.

The war veterans were resettled as A1 farmers in the area.

Nkanyezi said the leaders only make decisions on their own without talking to villagers to get their input on challenges they are facing.

“Right now as it is, the country is experiencing drought, our livestock does not have water, but there is no one who has come to us to at least listen to what we have to say.

“The cattle are affected and we want those who represent us in Parliament to do their job. Bring people to our villages to see what is on the ground. The problems and challenges that we have are enormous.

“I want them to know that we chose them to stand for us and they should do so. We do not want any surprises at all because we trusted them to put word for us to the president since we cannot on our own.”

Chief Menyezwa, who presides over the area, said he could not respond to issues raised because traditional leaders were not informed or consulted when the people were settled in the area.

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