Friday, May 11, 2018

ED meets War Vets Today

Views
Felex Share Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa will today meet war veterans, war collaborators and ex-detainees in Harare to discuss welfare issues and ways of strengthening Zanu-PF ahead of harmonised elections this year.
The polls are expected by the end of July.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general Cde Victor Matemadanda confirmed the meeting at the City Sports Centre in Harare.
“We are meeting the President and Head of State and Government as veterans of the liberation struggle, meaning war veterans, war collaborators and ex-detainees are all part of the programme,” he said.
“You are aware that since President Mnangagwa was inaugurated, we have never had the chance to meet him. Him being one of the veterans of the liberation struggle, it’s natural that we should meet.”
Cde Matemadanda said they would table “issues of concern” to President Mnangagwa.
“We want to discuss welfare issues, participation and roles of veterans of the struggle in various sectors, be it in the party or Government as well as map the way forward,” he said.
“The comrades have concerns which they need the President to know and address. For example, some have got issues with regards to what they saw during the Zanu-PF primary elections held recently,” said Cde Matemadanda.
“War veterans feel the process did not go well in some areas, especially in areas where money was used.
“Some of them were disenfranchised and did not participate because they did not have money. So they feel they should get some affirmative action for them to participate in such processes. We have projects that we think if supported can improve their lives.”
He added: “In terms of politics, they feel that while Zanu-PF is a mass party, they have a stake and they should be empowered to be part of those running the party because of their commitment to the party.
“This is simply for the reason that we have many who do not have the party at heart who have been appointed leaders, but upon being expelled in a few weeks or months they form a political party.
“On the other hand we have war veterans who even when expelled, they feel that they belong to the party. A good example is Cde Jabulani Sibanda who was fired in 2014, but because of his background he has never joined another political party.”
Cde Matemadanda said among their welfare issues, the veterans of the liberation struggle wanted decent medical care.
“Many were exposed to chemicals and they need treatment to be readily available,” he said.
“Comrades understand our economic situation, but they know we now have a listening President who can take measures and make some adjustments, where possible, to accommodate the wishes of the war veterans. They need their monthly payouts to be adjusted so that their livelihoods improve.”
The veterans of the struggle want to benefit from indigenisation and empowerment programmes, mining and housing and land projects.