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Freedom fighter urges govt to recognise overlooked war vets

Liberation war veteran, Andrew Ndlovu, has written to the government calling for the recognition of a certain category of war veterans who after training were deployed in the front of the battle in the country.

In his letter addressed to Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Ndlovu, who is also former Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) national secretary for projects, said that the category of war veterans was overlooked.  

“Cde Minister, I am of a personal view that a certain key war veteran category was overlooked, the category of war veterans who after being trained, got deployed in the front inside Rhodesia to directly engage the enemy; unlike those war veterans who after training remained in the rear and were never launched in the front to fight against the Rhodesian forces,” said Ndlovu.

“The above-mentioned observation Cde Minister also seriously affected the recognition of Front, Regional, Zone, Sectorial and other front commanders for their role in commanding ZIPRA/ZANLA forces inside Rhodesia which was the battlefield Zone against NATO forces.”

He explained further: “It has further affected their hero` status as they have been put into one basket with those war veterans who never operated, when the level of ZIPRA/ZANLA cadres who operated, their supreme sacrifices was justified during the war of liberation by their command in the front (Rhodesia) which made Ian Douglas Smith regime and the British imperialist forces to surrender and called for cease fire which brought about our independence in 1980.”

Ndlovu said he was of the view that if the war veterans category for those who operated in the front is considered and recognised, the same way the government did when it identified front commanders during the vetting exercises of war collaborators in various operation areas, war veterans who operated, also taking into account the Status of Front, Regional, Zone, Sectorial and other front commanders would benefit Front Operation Services, Pension, National Heroes Status and Front Medals.

“I hope that your respected office would find my views and opinion in order,” added Ndlovu.

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