THE Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army Veterans’ Trust (Zipra Trust) has castigated sentiments by war veterans’ chairman Chris Mutsvanga and his secretary-general Victor Matemadanda, who described their organisation as a security threat.
Zipra Trust secretary-general Comforter Dube said utterances by Mutsvangwa, who is the War Veterans’ Affairs minister, and Matemadanda could not go unchallenged.
“For the minister and chairperson of war veterans’ association and his secretary-general to chastise war veterans for forming, associating with and or belonging to Zipra Veterans’ Trust is indeed very unfortunate to say the least,” he said.
“Mutsvanga should instead seek an understanding of what Zipra Veterans’ Trust is and what its mandate is.
“Zipra Veterans’ Trust is a legally registered trust that advocates for the welfare of all former Zipra cadrés and their dependents.
“It is engaged in peace building and community healing programmes throughout the country.”
Dube said Matemadanda was being mischievous and irresponsible by saying they posed a threat to President Robert Mugabe’s government.
“For Victor Matemadanda to allege that Zipra Veterans’ Trust poses a security threat is highly irresponsible and deserves to be treated with all the contempt it deserves,” he said.
“It is an indication of the ignorance by Victor and his boss of what Zipra Veterans’ Trust is all about.”
Dube said, instead, the two should pursue issues of war veterans’ welfare that have been neglected over a very long time, rather than waste their energies on partisan political affairs and other issues which do not bring bread and butter to ex-combatants.
“Our children have outstanding school fees for 2013 and 2014 third term that have remained unpaid to date,” he said.
“This has negatively affected war veterans’ children who sat for ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level examinations last year and they could not get their results due to non-payments of fees.
“Some war veterans are being hounded by debt collectors who have been engaged by schools to collect outstanding school fees.
“War veterans’ pensions are paltry yet the minister is doing nothing.”