‘Compensate war collaborators’

DEFENCE and War Veterans deputy minister Victor Matematanda was yesterday grilled in Parliament over government’s failure to vet war collaborators 38 years after the liberation war.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

The issue was first raised in the National Assembly by Wedza North MP David Musabayana (Zanu PF), who asked Matemadanda to explain government’s policy in ensuring war collaborators were vetted and paid gratuity for participating in the liberation war.

War collaborators relayed information to freedom fighters on the whereabouts of Rhodesian Forces and supplied food and other needs during the war.

“The Ministry of Defence and War Veterans wants vetting of mujibhas and chimbwindos to be done as soon as possible,” Matematanda said.

But Kwekwe Central MP Masango Matambanadzo (National Patriotic Front) said Matematanda’s response was not good enough.

“Mujibhas and chimbwindos have identity cards which show that they were already vetted, and whenever war veterans are called for meetings, they will be present. But are you not ashamed to talk about vetting them 38 years after independence,” Matambanadzo said.

“I am pained when you give such a response because I was a mujibha myself and now we have a second President and you are still talking about mujibhas and chimbwidos being vetted when most of them are already dead. This is wrong because they must be compensated.”

Matematanda said Matambanadzo was becoming too emotional, adding that there was need for alignment of the War Veterans Act in order to include war collaborators.

“I do not know that mujibhas and chimbwidos were vetted because there is no enabling Act and currently, the law does not have a provision for mujibhas. A true mujibha will not be emotional because we, war veterans, fought side by side with them,” Matematanda said.

In an unrelated matter, Harare West MP Joana Mamombe (MDC Alliance) asked Home Affairs deputy minister Mike Madiro to explain government’s policy on fighting corruption.

Madiro’s response was that everyone with evidence on corrupt leaders must report.

But Kambuzuma MP Willias Madzimure (MDC Alliance) said the minister must explain why there were very few convictions of people arrested for corruption. Madiro said convictions were done by the Justice ministry, and not Home Affairs.