A tense atmosphere of acrimony has raised fears of looming conflict as war-veterans emotions zoom this week in protest against White farmers who are on list to get compensation. The War-Veteran Welfare Pressure Group has staged a nasty political friction with the idea that white settlers are to get land compensation yet they are almost in their third month without pay.
By Nevson Mpofu
Speaking in Harare at a Press Conference at the Media Centre Amos Sigauke fumed heavily on the secretly granted decision by President Emmerson Mnangagwa government to pay former colonial white settler farmers at the expense of the taxpayers.
”The issue is that we are against the decision by Mnangagwa to compensate former white farmers USD 3,5 billion for their claimed improvements on the lawfully compulsorily acquired lands well ahead of the indigenous black race’s own claims for compensation of their sufferance during both pre and colonial times under the colonial regime racist White race settler occupying forces .”
Sigauke was accompanied by four others; Givemore Ndiya, Rueben Zulu, Obert Hazvinei Machingura and Shooorai Nyamagobo .
Zulu said there is non-payment of minimum monthly war-veteran pension.
”Ever since we took the State to Court and succeeded against non-payment of our minimum monthly war-veteran pension in terms of Statutory Instrument 280/1997 , no war-veteran has come to us and advised he/she is not accepting our representation nor refusing payment as granted by the court order. Those against this are sell-outs and not genuine in the group ”.
Ndiya added that they are a lot of them among who are not genuine in the group of ex-combatants. He said a lot have been paid ever since this began but they have been sell-outs even from the liberation struggle.
”We have realised that not every cadre who appeared participating in the struggle is genuine cadre. Many among us are spies of the Rhodesian Forces and have British interests. That is why we are angry” he said
”All is done without our consultancy nor even our spirit mediums who own the land. There were supposed to consult our chiefs, Members of Parliament as well. All what is done is against us, paying Whites is against our rights. The question is needs compensation first, a black or a White former settler.
‘‘Simply, this is overriding our interests as owners of the land is against their rights. That is why we have to fume over this decision as early as we can do it. The Government must respect us as the real owners of the Land, he said
Mnangagwa agreed last month to pay $3.5bn in compensation to white farmers whose land was expropriated by the government to resettle Black families, moving a step closer to resolving one the most divisive policies of the Robert Mugabe era.
But the southern African nation does not have the money and will issue long-term bonds and jointly approach international donors with the farmers to raise funding, according to the compensation agreement.
Two decades ago Mugabe’s government carried out at times violent evictions of 4,500 white farmers and redistributed the land to about 300,000 Black families, arguing it was redressing colonial land imbalances.
The agreement signed at the State House offices in the capital Harare showed white farmers would be compensated for infrastructure on the farms and not the land itself, as per the national constitution.