War Veterans Arrested For Marching To Mthuli Ncube’s Offices To Ask Unpaid Allowances
26 August 2021
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Dear Editor

Mthuli Ncube being grilled by Simba Chikanza – file

Are you following the 9 war veterans who were yesterday arrested for simply going to Mthuli Ncube’s office to address nyaya dzavo dzemari shoma?

It’s very cruel how our relatives are being treated. They were arrested for simply complaining kuti 16000 rtgs (less than USD$100) that they earn monthly isn’t enough.

About 9 war veteran were yesterday arrested by police while visiting Minister of Finance and Economic Development Mthuli Ncube to ask for payment of their unpaid gratuities.

The group were Thursday, still incarcerated at Harare Central Police station. It was not clear at the time of writing, if they have been charged.

The war veterans, now elderly people,  were scheduled for a meeting with Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube when they were surprised by police who bundled them to Harare Central Police Station, journalist Rex Mphisa reported.

National Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi told the journo he had not been advised of the arrest.

“I have not been advised of this arrest. I was busy attending to a visit by Minister of Local Government (July Moyo) and was not informed of this development,” said Nyathi.

An unidentified female war veteran said she was part of a group of the former freedom fighters but slipped away when police rounded them at the Finance ministry headquarters.

“We were invited to attend a meeting with the minister this Wednesday but we found police waiting for us and I slipped away denying I was party to the group,” she said.

War veterans are pressing for the disbursement of their High Court awarded gratuities of the equivalent of US $2 000 monthly after winning a legal battle against Government.

Since their court victory, they have never received a cent and are now impatient. 

Those arrested yesterday had not been charged after those in charge of Harare Police District were reportedly jittery on what charges to press although they refused to release the ageing former freedom fighters.

“The Dispol for Harare who is said to have ordered for our comrades arrest said he was off duty and asked the Law and Order Section to take over.

“Our comrades had an appointment and were not violent. We are surprised at this reaction,” another war veteran said.

Since the leadership of the late former president Robert Mugabe deposed in 2017 war veterans have been pressing for their gratuities.

Some claim the government used them towards elections and dumped them soon after securing mandate.

While it is not clear where funds to compensate displaced white commercial farmers were from, the veterans are against the move being done before their gratuities are disbursed.

“Many of our comrades are dying in abject poverty. The country should reward us for our sacrifices,” said one of the freedom fighters.

Zanu PF which is gearing for a landslide 2023 general election victory has already appealed to the veterans of the struggle to mobilise voters.

Yesterday some members of a social group of war veterans said they would approach their lawyers to secure the release of their comrades held at Harare Central Police. – Rex Mphisa/ Additional