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Another Zimbabwean war veterans body formed

by Byo24NEWS | Bhebhe Mandla
23 Jan 2011 at 16:58hrs | Views
ANOTHER war veterans association to be launched next month has been formed and it promises to "improve their welfare, give them recognition, dignity and respect for liberating and serving the country".

Retired Colonel Basten Beta, who last year attacked President Robert Mugabe for allegedly betraying the values of the liberation struggle,is the chairman.

He told some pirate radio station that they had a massive following of true war veterans. "Our organization is different from that of Jabulani Sibanda and Joseph Chinotimba as we accommodate everyone who went to fight to bring about independence. Those want people to pay subscriptions to become a war vet," said Beta.

He added that their major aim was to cater for the members' welfare. "Our members are living in poverty but they fought for this country…we want our share of benefits. War veterans are given paupers' burials due to poverty," he said.

At present there are two war veterans association factions. However, Zanu PF says there is only one war veterans' association, the one led by Sibanda. Said Rugare Gumbo, Zanu PF spokesperson:

"We only know of one war veterans association and it's the one led by Sibanda and President Mugabe is the patron of it." According to press statements this week, Beta's faction said: "In an effort to unite all war veterans the Co-ordinating Committee is now finalising consultations with all stakeholders in order to form a New Non Partisan organisation which will represent all war veterans.

"The current confusion and conflict within war veterans is caused by politicians who want to use war veterans for personal political gain. The new organisation will represent all war veterans regardless of their political affiliation by striving to improve their welfare, give them recognition, dignity and respect for liberating and serving the country."

Source - Byo24NEWS