Ex-Zipra combatants to benefit from properties
Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
WAR veterans Minister Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube yesterday said the properties that belonged to Zapu were annexed to Zanu-PF when the two parties signed the Unity Accord in 1987.
Rtd Col Dube made the remarks as he welcomed calls by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko for the identification of ex-Zipra and Zapu properties saying they should be returned to benefit their members.
VP Mphoko at the weekend demanded that the list of properties be availed to him within a week so that he can take up the issue with President Mugabe who supports the programme.
Rtd Col Dube said the issue of property should be handled with caution noting that Zapu properties became Zanu-PF assets as part of the terms of the Unity Accord.
“Because it’s understood that Zapu properties when Unity Accord was signed became part of the Unity Accord. A distinction was made to those of former Zipra which rightfully should benefit the ex-combatants.
“However, it must be made clear that all those who contributed towards the acquisition of these properties must be treated as shareholders in a company,” said Rtd Col Dube.
He urged VP Mphoko to adopt an inclusive policy when addressing the property issue saying excluding any former Zipra cadre was bound to cause problems.
“I’m rather worried that the inclusion of a small section in trying to solve these problems may yet open another Pandora’s box. We in the Ministry of Welfare of War Veterans will appreciate if everything is done to unite war veterans not to divide them further,” Rtd Col Dube said.
He said it was encouraging that the Presidium was taking a leading role in releasing the assets to their rightful owners.
“For a long time nothing seemed to move so it is a very welcome move that the Vice President is taking a serious step towards recovering these properties. It could not be resolved anywhere else besides in the Presidium. It’s an issue for the Presidium,” said Retired Col Dube.
“It has been one of the burning issues regarding former Zipra combatants we hope that now that this issue will be resolved once and for all.”