Wednesday, 31 August 2016

GOVT DENIES EX ZIPRA FORCES CLAIMS

THE government has dismissed as baseless claims that there is discrimination of former Zipra forces in government.

The Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube said as both Zipra and Zanla members have received the same treatment at Independence.

He told parliament last week that it was now irrelevant to talk of the former freedom fighting units as they were integrated at attainment of Independence in 1980.
Cde Dube was responding to a question by Magwegwe Member of Parliament (MDC-T) Anele Ndebele in Parliament last week.

Mr Ndebele had accused the government of denigrating and undermining the exploits of the Zipra Forces during the liberation struggle.

“The truth is that we no longer have Zipra Forces, we have former Zipra and former Zanla Forces.  To be open with you, I was one of those who were in charge of integrating these forces in 1980.  So, to now talk of Zipra Forces is not relevant,” said Cde Dube.

“There is no discrimination whatsoever between former Zipra and former Zanla Forces.  They have all been integrated into the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA).  Those who were not integrated, some of them are war veterans and are treated the same.”

He said the challenge is with war veterans who did not register and are not receiving benefits from government.

“The problem that we usually face is that, some comrades did not register for vetting when they were called to do so.  Those who did not go for vetting, it means they were not registered as war veterans and as a result they remain outside the benefits of the war veterans.”

“However, all those who were vetted and found to be true veterans of the liberation war have no reason to think that they are segregated in any way because they get their pensions and constitutional rights according to the law.  So, it is not true that any group can be segregated in any way,” said Minister Dube.

Cde Dube said vetting was still in progress and any war veteran who had not been vetted could go to the former freedom fighters’ offices dotted around the country with the necessary requirements.
He said his ministry was working hard to secure the welfare of groups that took part in the liberation struggle.

“Sometimes, resources are not readily available, but we are doing everything possible to do what we are supposed to do.

“For instance, we talk of fees for their dependents. This has not been done on time sometimes, but all the same whenever resources get available we dispatch them accordingly,” said Cde Dube.
Last week, Cde Dube said his ministry was awaiting payment from Treasury to settle school fees for the war liberators’ children.

He added that his ministry has devised a mechanism to avoid fraudulent school fee claims by beneficiaries, through paying direct to schools and colleges. chronicle

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