Former Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZPRA) veterans are calling on the government to expedite the implementation of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act, which they say has taken longer to deliver.
The Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act was signed into law by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in September last year.
In an interview with CITE, ZPRA Veterans Association Spokesperson, Buster Magwizi, noted with concern how the implementation of the act was ‘stagnant’ unlike the Constitutional Amendment (No.2) Bill, whose enactment into law was rushed.
Magwizi described the push to have the Constitutional Amendment (No.2) Bill implemented as a “coup on the judiciary,” which he said was meant to favour Chief Justice, Luke Malaba.
“That was a typical coup because once Malaba acceded or was pushed up by the president (Emmerson Mnangagwa) all he was going to do was to protect the president and not protect justice. These constitutional amendments were presented to the government and signed into law without due diligence because people did not seriously consider the issue and tenants of the law,” said the spokesperson.
He also highlighted the High Court had done justice by reversing the appointment of Malaba, as the constitutional amendment was wrong.
“They rush and publish an amendment which has been disputed by the courts, however justice has been served by the High Court which has stood its ground – that the appointment of Malaba is wrong and he must go. Now what we are saying is we want the act of the war veterans published as soon as possible,” Magwizi said.
Magwizi noted that since the ZPRA veterans had petitioned parliament, they expected the legislators to expedite the implementation of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act.
“So that delivery of justice can be achieved by the members who deserve it. This is our point, as ZPRA veterans say, ‘justice delayed is justice denied.’ We need justice for non-combatants and other people who have not been vetted otherwise they would die and that would be unfair,” he said.
The ZPRA spokesperson said since the long-awaited Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Board had been appointed, “it is time to operationalise the Veterans of the liberation Struggle Act.”
The 12 member Veterans of the Liberations Struggle Board that consists of ZPRA and ZANLA cadres were appointed in March this year is chaired by Major General Retired Gibson Mashingaidze.
Other members are Brigadier-General Retired Abel Mazinyani, Major-General Retired Evaristo Dzihwema, Rido Mpofu, Lieutenant Colonel – Gertrude Moyo, Irene Zindi, Remigio Makoni, Tineyi Chigudu, Archibald Kufa, Susan Madzivadondo, Batsirai Musona and Vice-Chair – Lifneth Moyo.
Representing ZPRA fighters in the board is Moyo the vice chair, Mazinyane, Lt Col. Moyo, and Mpofu.
Magwizi, who noted the ZPRA veterans association had criticised the criteria for choosing board members, said they would have to work with the board to administer all issues of the veterans including the veterans’ funds.
“Well, we are not happy because we did not second those people. We didn’t suggest their names, however, they have been picked. We have to work with what is there as the process of selecting them was bogus,” he said.
“Of course naturally, we don’t know the commutations of the funds. We don’t even know from what the date veterans will be considered for allowances, as these deliberations will be between the board and the head of the state.”