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'Zanu-PF hijacks war vets vetting'

by Staff reporter
24 Jun 2021 at 11:03hrs | Views
THE Zipra War Veterans Association has accused the ruling Zanu-PF party of manipulating the ongoing war veterans vetting exercise amid allegations that some undeserving party activists were being registered so that they benefit from the programme.

The national vetting exercise for freedom fighters and collaborators started on June 17 and ends on July 17.

Zipra War Veterans Association chairperson Ben Ncube told Southern Eye that they had received reports that some Zanu-PF activists, with no liberation war background, had successfully registered as freedom fighters.

"We are aware that Zanu-PF is interfering with the vetting exercise by bringing some people to register them so that they benefit from the exercise. This is through the use of their (Zanu-PF) offices for the registration exercise," he said.

"This is a government exercise, not a political party thing. We lobbied for this as Zipra war veterans and other war veterans after realising that there are so many people who never benefited anything from the contributions they made during the war." But Veterans of the Liberation Struggle board chair, Retired Major-General Gibson Mashingaidze yesterday denied the allegations.

"We have not received any reports of that nature. If they are there, they should be isolated incidents," he said.

"People must realise that what we are doing has no formula, it is a trial and error after 40 years and I am very concerned about that.'

Zanu-PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu said the vetting programme was not in any way linked to the ruling party.

"War veterans have their own wing that is properly constituted. I do not understand how Zanu-PF members can interfere with that,'' Mpofu said.

In 1997, the government vetted thousands of freedom fighters before awarding them a lump sum of $50 000 each as gratuity for their role in fighting for the country's independence, but some, mostly Zipra combatants, were left out.

Source - newsday