War vets punished

Some 350 veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation struggle who snubbed a recent meeting held in Masvingo requiring them to join a reserve army have had their pensions and monthly allowance cancelled.
Masvingo province has 400 registered war veterans, but less than 60 attended the me

eting. As punishment the government struck them off the list of those who benefit from the monthly allowances.
Analysts say the ruling party’s drive to force war veterans and retired soldiers to register for a reserve army is to beef up its violence machinery ahead of the elections next year.
“Less than 60 war veterans attended the meeting and those who were there said they registered their names on the list of the reserve army which need to be retrained before they are deployed into the rural areas to unleash violence during next year’s polls.
“As I speak right now those who joined the reserve force had their monthly allowances increased significantly and they are now getting just Z$00 000 less than the amount paid to the serving army members of the rank of their retirement,” said two war veterans, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Zimbabwe liberators platform chairperson, Femias Chakabuda, lambasted government for abusing war veterans in a bid to cling on to power.
“War veterans liberated Zimbabwe so that everybody could participate in free and fair elections. What the government is doing is a clear abuse of our struggle for independence. We veterans played our role and liberated the country and we should not be used against our own people because Zanu (PF) want to stay in power,” said Chakabuda. – CAJ News

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