Source: Unruly elements sway war vets, says Minister – Sunday News Mar 5, 2017
Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Reporter
PROBLEMS within war veterans are emanating from some ruling Zanu-PF party officials who are using the former liberation fighters to further their interests, a Cabinet Minister has said.
In an interview, War Veterans, War Collaborators, Detainees and Restrictees Minister Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube said some war veterans were being swayed from upholding the revolutionary party’s virtues and protecting the country’s sovereignty by some unruly elements within the ruling party who are bent on dividing it along factional lines.
He said as a ministry their mandate was to look into the welfare of the former combatants but their hands were tied when it comes to ensuring “war veterans toe the line” since the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) was governed by its own constitution.
“We are trying very hard to quell the mayhem and divisions within the association. The problem we have is that we are only mandated to look into their welfare and they have their own constitution so some of the decisions which they make are not influenced by us.
“We are of the view that their actions and somewhat wayward behaviour or conduct is influenced by third parties. If there are factions within the party it tends to cascade to the lower ranks and you find some war veterans falling prey to those leading factions. What we want are united war veterans,” said Rtd Col Dube.
The vote of no confidence passed against ZINLWA chairman Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa and other executive members — Victor Matemadanda and Headman Moyo from Zanu-PF ignited a turf war within the combatants with some of them wanting them out of the association.
Rtd Col Dube said the Government was committed towards the welfare of war veterans and a number of projects have been lined-up aimed at alleviating their plight.
“The truth is the Government doesn’t have money. Our economic situation is a bit difficult to render full assistance but we are doing all we can with the little resources at our disposal though of course it’s not enough. We are even trying to venture into various projects. As I speak we have just imported maize from Zambia, which we are going to sell to the GMB (Grain Marketing Board). The profit realised from this venture will be distributed to assist war veterans to access medical assistance as well as to pay fees for their children,” he said.
Rtd Col Dube said the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has also promised to parcel out some chrome claims to war veterans while plans for the formation of a security company to be owned by the ex-combatant are underway.
“The Minister of Mines (Walter Chidhakwa) has promised to give consortiums of war veterans on chrome claims and the onus is on us to look for a strategic partner to assist us in mining. We are also looking at forming a security company to be run by the war veterans with the revenue realised from this venture going towards catering for their needs, this coupled with their pension will go a long way in improving their livelihood,” he said.