Harare- There was deafening clamor yesterday at the Parliament after legislators across all political parties blasted the state for neglecting reasonable measures including legislative measures for the welfare and economic empowerment for war collaborators who sacrificed their lives towards the attainment of Zimbabwe’s independence.
The motion was raised by Honorable David Musabayana of Hwedza North Constituency in a question and answer session to the Minister of Defence and War Veterans, Oppah Muchinguri, concerning the welfare of war collaborators.
“My question goes to the Minister of Defense and War Vets, can you inform the house on what you have set aside towards the welfare of war collaborators (chimbwido and mujibha) as well as if you have accorded them hero status because they have been excluded by the government since the attainment of independence?” Musabayana asked.
The Minister of Defence neglected this and insisted this is not part of her office but later on said vetting war collaborators is a long process and accordance of hero status cannot be done without following proper channels.
“In fact the government is working on it since the issue is under the parliamentary debates,” Muchinguri said.
Musabayana asked this referring to the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe, article 23 which states that the state and all institutions and agencies of the government at every level must accord due respect, honour and recognition to veterans of the liberation struggle, that is to say, those who assisted the fighters in the war of the liberation struggle.
Kwekwe Central Member of Parliament, Masango Matambanadzo, was angered by Minister Muchinguri’s sentiments.
He said, “We have two Presidents who have served Zimbabwe, so it’s wrong and painful that all of them have not yet put anything tangible towards the welfare of war collaborators. Those war collaborators have been already given vetting cards but why are they not considered?”
However the question was responded to by the Chairperson of War Veterans, Victor Matemadanda, who reiterated Muchinguri’s sentiments that there is a vetting procedure which gives a person hero status.
The Speaker of Parliament, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, calmed the storm as he reprimanded the war vets on using emotions to formulating policies.