PROMINENT Bulawayo-based war veteran Max Mkandla has called on the government to halt the ongoing vetting of former liberation war fighters that started just before the elections last year arguing that the entire process was not transparent.
Mkandla said the process should be urgently stopped as the vetting team comprised young people from Harare with no knowledge of the liberation struggle.
He also said the vetting exercise was not publicised and genuine war vets, who should benefit from the process would be prejudiced.
Mkandla said the objectives of the vetting were not clear.
“If they are genuinely vetting, why did they not publicise it so that war vets would know what is going on? Why are people from Matabeleland not part of the vetting process?
The major reason why this exercise has to be stopped is because it is not an inclusive process — because as it is, not everyone knows about it and that makes it selective. This team failed to disclose to us who they are,” he said.
Mkandla said the vetting team was currently in Tsholotsho and would be proceeding to Lupane and Binga. He said they felt the team was pushing its own agenda.
“These people are masquerading as war vets, but we are convinced that they are merely collecting data of how many ex-Zipra cadrés still exist,” he said.
Another war vet said the vetting process had traces of tribalism as there was no one from the Matabeleland region who is part of the team.
He said what made it suspicious was that the team kept blocking certain genuine war vets.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association chairperson Jabulani Sibanda said the ongoing vetting process was nonsense.
“It is not a vetting process, but vetting nonsense. They are playing around with freedom fighters,” he said.
Bulawayo provincial secretary for the war veterans’ association Cephas Ncube said he was shocked that war vets would run to the media instead of approaching the appropriate office.
Ncube said he did not understand why they were complaining when the process was set to benefit genuine war vets and weed out the bogus ones.
“I am shocked by those people that say war vets visited your offices. We do not know what they are complaining about. Because they have come to you, do they think you will help them?
“These people must go to the right offices and the genuine ones will be assisted, but nothing can be done for bogus ones,” he said.