BY NHAU MANGIRAZI
VETERANS of the liberation war have launched a fresh attack on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration, accusing it of failing to expedite the exhumation and reburial of victims who are still interred in mass graves across the country.
This comes barely a week after a group of ex-combatants berated Mnangagwa for failing to take their welfare seriously.
In a strongly worded statement issued on Saturday, the highly petulant former freedom fighters accused Mnangagwa of riding a tiger and failing to honour them.
“We are deeply concerned that some of our late fighters are still yet to be reburied. Hurungwe liberation war veterans resolved that every effort be made for the exhumation and reburial, with commensurate honours, of the departed heroes of the Second Chimurenga who met their deaths in Hurungwe district, Mashonaland West province, and that the process be accelerated,” the statement, issued by the Mashonaland West provincial war veterans leadership, read.
“The veterans, to realise this goal, call upon all veterans in the district to contribute towards a fund to be established for this purpose, and for all who have information of burial sites’ locations to make some available to Veterans of the Liberation Struggle through the party administration offices in Karoi.
“The veterans arrived at this resolution following recognition that efforts made towards honouring the departed heroes over the past 41 years of independence have been half-hearted and uncoordinated, displaying a lack of commitment from both the party and government.”
They also applauded efforts of the Fallen Heroes Trust, which has made it possible to exhume and re-bury those that have been found around the country.
“It is an indictment on our party and government that it has not taken the responsibility to shoulder this task, and has instead left it to the living veterans to bury their departed colleagues, which task we now assume,” they said.
“We also note that while we, the veterans, have often and rightly so, called attention to our welfare and plight, have however developed amnesia regards the many who died at our sides in the field of battle and in our rear camps, which we should not have done. We do well to remind ourselves and everyone else to not only attend to the living, but to those who today cannot speak for themselves and whose only need is for a decent interment.”
Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri did not respond to questions and was also not answering calls to her mobile phone.