By Nevson Mpofu
War veterans are set to be on a collision course with the government’s decision to compensate former white farmers.
The War Veterans Welfare Pressure Group said it is against the idea of compensating white farmers yet the former liberation war fighters in the third month without receiving their salaries.
Speaking in Harare at a Press Conference at the Media Centre, Comrade Amos Sigauke fumed against government’s decision to pay white settlers at their expense.
”The issue is that we are against the decision by the Government of Zimbabwe to compensate former white farmers USD 3,5 billion for so-called improvements on the lawfully compulsorily acquired land well ahead of the indigenous people’s own claims for compensation for sufferance during
both pre and colonial times under the same racist white race settler occupying forces,” Comrade Sigauke said.
Comrade Sigauke was accompanied by four others: Givemore Ndiya, Rueben Zulu, Obert Hazvinei Machingura, and Shooorai Nyamagobo.
Comrade Rueben Zulu bemoaned the non-payment of minimum monthly war-veteran pensions.
”Ever since we took the State to Court and succeeded against non-payment of our minimum monthly war-veteran pension in terms of Statutory Instrument 280/1997, no war-veteran has come to us and advised he/she is not accepting our representation nor refuses payment of the court-ordered payments. Those against this are a sell-out, not genuine people in the group,” Zulu said.
Digmore Ndiya added that there are many among them who are not genuine ex-combatants. He said may have been paid ever since this began but it was unfortunate that many are sell-outs from the liberation struggle.
”We have realized that not every supposed cadre who appeared participating in the struggle is a genuine cadre. Many among us were spies of the Rhodesian Forces with British interests. That is why we are angry.
”All is done without consulting us or even our spirit mediums who own the land. They were supposed to consult our chiefs, and Members of Parliament as well. All that is done without our consent. That violates our rights. The question, who needs compensation first, a black or a white former settler.
”Simply, this is overriding our interests as owners of the land and is against our rights. That is why we are fuming over this decision as early as we can do it. The Government must respect us as the real owners of the land,” Ndiya added.