FORMER War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube has called on ex-combatants across the political divide to unite and exert pressure on the government to uplift their welfare.
The Makokoba legislator said politics must not divide war veterans, but unite them, adding ex-combatants needed to speak with one voice to push government to address their welfare.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
“We have come a long way together, from the days of the liberation struggle till today and as we fought as one force, we now need a united voice, to speak with one voice on the issue of welfare and cause of ex-combatants,” he said.
The former War Veterans minister said this on Wednesday evening at an Independence Day after party at his home in Killarney where he hosted ex-combatants from across the political divide.
The Independence Day celebrations were held at White City Stadium.
“We need to meet more often as war veterans, to reminisce on the past, our struggles and post-independence struggle to ask where we are as war veterans.
“We need to ask ourselves has government honoured war veterans enough? We need to ask ourselves what is the welfare situation of fellow comrades and see to it that issues to do with war veterans are attended to?
“We need to be united, we need unity among comrades regardless of colour, tribe and political affiliation, “he said.
The government always talks of the important role played by war veterans during the armed struggle, but only a few connected have benefited from government largesse as thousands have to make do with measly monthly allowances.
In 1997, war veterans’ were given Z$50 000 as pension for their participation in the war, and they have been demanding that government looks into their welfare to prevent an uprising from angry ex-combatants.
The government also pays ex-combatants monthly gratuities for their upkeep, but they argue the payouts do not match their sacrifices. Other ex-combatants have been calling on the government to support post war trauma treatment and counselling and to set up a memorial hospital for ex-combatants.