Fortunate Gora Mash West Correspondent
Freedom fighters in Mashonaland West province have accused former president Mr Robert Mugabe of neglecting them since 1980.
The freedom fighters aired their views during a meeting convened in Chinhoyi ahead of their July 12 meeting with President Mnangagwa in Harare.
The meeting was attended by ex-combatants, ex-war collaborators and ex-detainees.
Speakers lamented the poor life they were experiencing after toiling to liberate Zimbabwe, complaining that their allowances were far below the poverty datum line.
Appealing for a review of their allowances, the freedom fighters said they did not benefit from the land reform or farming equipment, while some were not receiving school fees for their children.
Cde Shadreck Lozani blamed the previous Government for neglecting them.
“We are now looking forward to the new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa to improve our welfare,” he said. “Our allowances are too little to sustain our lives and we need an upward review.”
The freedom fighters also committed to contributing to the development of agriculture in Zimbabwe.
“We fought for this land, that is why we are called sons of the soil, but surprisingly some of us do not have land and those who have it are failing to yield good results because of lack of farming equipment,’’ Cde Chris Ncube said.
Another freedom fighter, Cde Margaret Chitsa, said the unemployed war veterans were struggling to raise their children.
“Soon after the war, a number of us became jobless and our children failed to go to school, some are struggling to pay fees and we hope the Government will intervene,” she said.
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association provincial chairman for Mashonaland West Cde Cornelius Muwoni said President Mnangagwa was aware of some of the grievances and was working on them.
He urged all the war collaborators to go for vetting to benefit from Government interventions.
“I have heard all your grievances and I want to assure you that President Mnangagwa is aware of them and is working on them,” he said.
Cde Muwoni urged the freedom fighters to rally behind President Mnangagwa as a colleague who participated in the liberation of Zimbabwe.
He said the freedom fighters were also keen to see their colleagues receiving senior appointments both in Government and party structures.
The freedom fighters also committed themselves to campaigning for Zanu-PF ahead of the forthcoming harmonised elections on July 30.