By Staff Reporter
MEMBERS of Parliament across the political divide have demanded an allocation of August house seats to war veterans based on the quota system in honour of their role in liberating the country.
This comes after most war veterans lost their posts within their respective political parties to a younger generation using money to elbow them out.
Speaking during a parliamentary session, Citizens Coalition for Change legislator, Tendai Biti, said war veterans should be represented by their peers in the National Assembly.
“Why do we not have reserved seats and a quota system for war veterans, is it not that they are the ones who fought the war of liberation,” Biti said.
“I am also a beneficiary of their efforts. Chinotimba participated in primary elections against a ‘mafikizolo’ and lost to an individual, clueless about the war of liberation.
“We must respect the war veterans of the struggle. Let us give them land and allow them permanent representation in the National Assembly through a quota system. There are only a few of them left and they are all elderly,” he added.
Biti added that when declared a hero, war veterans estates get tax exemption but barely get similar treatment when they are alive.
“You give the dead hero tax-free capital gains, but when alive, the war veteran did not even have a proper shoe to put on. You give a war veteran a medal for being a hero but when alive, you did not even want to see him/her.”
MDC legislator, Brian Dube concurred, saying war veterans were now being measured by a standard they failed to achieve because they were on national duty.
“It is very unfair to have a Parliament which does not have this quota for war veterans. We have our comrades like Hon. Chinotimba losing primaries to educated young boys speaking English, having a lot of money and bragging that they are educated forgetting that they are educated because someone sacrificed,” Dube said.
Outgoing Zanu PF Buhera South MP, Joseph Chinotimba said war veterans needed to be liberated through a proportional representation in parliament.
“Right now, there is a women’s quota in Parliament, youth quota in Parliament but the war veterans do not have a quota on anything. We just stay and if you want to become a Member of Parliament, you have to go and contest with others like Chinotimba when the war veterans are the ones who fought for this country.
“As far as I am concerned, the war veterans are not yet liberated because the 20% quota for them has not been implemented,” Chinotimba said.