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ZIPRA combatants demand govt release of war heroics

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By Bulawayo Correspondent


THE ZIPRA Veterans Association has demanded the release of its liberation war records by government, saying the current war accounts were only biased towards ZANLA.

ZIPRA was the military wing of the opposition PF ZAPU while ZANLA was under ZANU, which went on to form the country’s first post-independence government in 1980.

Addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Media Centre this past week, the ex-ZIPRA cadres said their role in the liberation struggle was being trivialised.

“We are appealing to the government to release all ZIPRA military records including war combat diaries,” said ZIPRA Veterans Association spokesperson, Buster Magwizi.

“All the ZIPRA military records which were in the Salisbury Herald were removed from the National Archives and dumped at a basement. The government should bring all ZIPRA’s war history in the public domain.”

Magwizi cited the famous bombing of the Rhodesia fuel tanks in 1978 which he said was executed by ZIPRA cadres but highly attributed to ZANLA cadres by some quarters.

“The bombing of Salisbury tanks is a contentious issue.

“The bombing of the Salisbury fuel tanks was one of ZIPRA’s trophies. ZIPRA cadres must be respected for hitting the fuel reservoirs,” said Magwizi.

The ZIPRA veterans also urged the government to immediately fire Information Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa for insulting the Catholic Bishops who has pointed out the country’s dire humanitarian crisis.

“Governing people by impunity takes their human rights and stupidly one minister comes out and scolds the Catholic Bishops, labelling them as devilish advocates.

“I do not know what that means but to us on the sidelines, that was a misstatement from that minister and she must be rescued quickly,” said Magwizi.

He also urged the government to operationalise the War Veterans Bill saying the beneficiaries of the Bill were now too old.

“Most of the war veterans are now above 65 year. We urge the government to operationalise the war veterans Bill so that we enjoy its proceeds,” he said.