Controversial war veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba yesterday said National Healing co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu must stop commenting about issues affecting war veterans because he did not know anything about the former fighters.
Report by Silas Nkala
Chinotimba was reacting to Mzila-Ndlovu’s remarks last Friday that it was time fake war veterans were exposed.
The minister, who is also Bulilima West MP and deputy secretary-general in the MDC formation led by Welshman Ncube, said there were many people masquerading as ex-combatants.
He was speaking during a public lecture on the late Zipra combatant Ethan Allen Dube organised by Masakhaneni Project Trust in Bulawayo.
“Mzila (Ndlovu) cannot talk about war veterans. He does not know anything about them,” Chinotimba said.
“This is like someone who sees a man living with his family and wife and starts talking about issues of that family yet he does not live in that home. He must shut up.”
Mzila-Ndlovu is a war veteran having fought under Zipra during the liberation war.
Chinotimba accused the MDC of seeking mileage by attempting to sympathise with war veterans.
Zipra Veterans’ Trust chairman Buster Willy Magwizi concurred with the minister saying bogus war veterans were reaping benefits of the war at the expense of genuine ex-fighters.
“Some joined the liberation war fighters at assembly points in 1980 and since then they have claimed to be war veterans,” Magwizi said.
He said it was unfortunate that genuine Zipra ex-fighters had not been registered for fear of victimisation during the Gukurahundi era.
“Most of the war veterans from this region fled the country during Gukurahundi and feared to be vetted because Gukurahundi sought to kill Zipra members,” Magwizi added.
“We will be seeking audience with parliamentarians to revisit the War Veterans and the War Victims Compensations Acts so as to out weed the fake war veterans.”
Chinotimba’s own liberation war credentials have been questioned repeatedly.