Mthuli Ncube Tricked Us: Arrested War Vets Complain

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By Tendai Makaripe

A PRESSURE group of disgruntled war veterans claims Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube trapped them Wednesday leading to the arrest of several former freedom fighters when they gathered at the minister’s offices in central Harare.

On the day, Ncube had assured the veterans of the liberation to visit his offices and collect a response on their request for an increase in the monthly pensions.

A similar letter had been copied to the Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri.

However, they were shocked on arrival to find police officers waiting for them and nine of them were immediately arrested for inciting public violence.

Others managed to escape.

The arrested war veterans are; Faith Chananda, Wonderful Kabarauta, Isso Madzivanyika Daphne Kanoti, Mazikana Marron, Nyasha Mangena, Sthyine Maphosa, Shorai Nyamangodo, and Jordan Mberadzina.

However, in an interview, Thursday, Amos Sigauke, the chairperson of the war veterans pressure group told the arrests were unlawful, but an ambush on law-abiding citizens.

“When we approached the relevant authorities to update them on the grievances of war veterans’ welfare and outstanding allowances, we were told to visit the Finance Ministry offices Wednesday to collect a copy of a letter the ministry had written to the Defence Ministry,” he said.

“However, we were shocked that Mthuli Ncube had instead set a trap for us. On arrival, nine of our members were arrested by the police.”

The ex-combatants were arrested before reaching Ncube’s offices at the New Government Complex.

“We did nothing illegal and the arrests are unlawful and a shock for us. All we want is the welfare of the war veterans to be addressed and improved as they are suffering,” added Sigauke.

The arrested war veterans are detained at the Harare Central Police Station and are yet to appear in court.

National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, confirmed the arrests of the nine former freedom fighters.

“They are being charged for contravening Section 37(b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23; participating in unlawful gathering,” said Nyathi.