40,000 war vets die – secret report

More than 40,000 war veterans (over a third of the force) are said to have died within a few years of receiving their Z$50 000 payouts (US$10 000 at the time) made under duress when President Robert Mugabe was cornered by Chenjerai Hunzvi and his ragtag rabble in the

late 90s.
A secret research document, leaked to The Zimbabwean from the ruling party’s Defence and Security deparment, has revealed that the ex-combatants died mainly of
“poor management, over expenditure, stress and depression”.
The report, entitled “The Plight of Ex Combatants in Zimbabwe 1997-2007”, was commissioned to determine the extent to which the war vets had benefited from the exercise. But the negative findings resulted in the research being swept under the carpet.
The 1996/97 payout of reparations to many destitute ex-combatants was marred by wholesale corruption and led to the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar.
Thabani Ndlovu died about eight months after he received his payout. “He never returned home from the day he was paid. We waited patiently for him. Initially we thought he had been murdered. After eight months we saw him with blisters all over the body and some close family friends confirmed he was changing women every single week. He only returned after the entire payment had been exhausted,” confirmed Esnath Mlilo, a close relative Thabani’s wife Joyce.
Innocent Makore from Mash East suffered a gruesome death after allegedly being poisoned by his wife who wanted his estate. Edison Moyo from Mberengwa also confirmed that his brother Godfrey was murdered three days after being paid.
Nomsa Shumba, Thoko Mhlanga and Gilbert Chadeuka are named in the document as having died of stress-related problems after they went haywire and used their money recklessly. One bought cabbages for pigs in Chirumhanzi, while another spent all his money on beer and hiring buses for his private transport.

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