War vets in bizarre degrees demand
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
VETERANS of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle have bizarrely demanded that the government awards them university degrees for their role in dismantling the racist white minority rule, the Daily News reports.
(ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya while addressing former freedom fighters in Marondera last weekend.
“We successfully educated the masses about the revolution and that the land belongs to them. We were told that if we face resistance from the (Ian) Smith regime soldiers, here is the gun, fight them and we succeeded. The third success was on the utilisation of the land, which is where we are today. So, my thinking now is that the government must award us degrees because we went to war and learnt principles of the revolution and we made it. War veterans do not associate themselves with failure politically. We associate ourselves with success and progress,” Mahiya said.
“In other countries, they take care of their war veterans. They do that in America where the private sector is responsible for the welfare of war veterans.“Finance minister Mthuli Ncube must come up with a policy that says if a company capacitates a farm of a war veteran with farming equipment and inputs, it will be exempted from paying tax.“If a company pays for war veterans’ medical bills, it will be entitled to a tax rebate. We don’t lose anything as a nation, but we would have complied with our Constitution that says we will honour and respect our war veterans.“Respect can only be a benefit when such things are happening, just like someone buying me (Mahiya) a car and your company gets a rebate,” said Mahiya.
According to the Government Gazette published last week, the board’s functions also include providing for the establishment of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Fund, repeal previous laws related to the former freedom fighters such as the War Veterans Act and the Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees Act.