By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
Former veterans of the liberation struggle have asked if President Emmerson Mnangagwa if he is aware of their victimization by the police.
This comes after more than 50 former liberation war veterans who had come to the Harare Magistrates Court in solidarity with their colleagues who were arrested for demanding an upward review of their pensions, were violently chased away by riot police.
Riot police on Tuesday arrested 39 war veterans after they staged a peaceful protest at the Africa Unity Square on Tuesday demanding review of their pensions.
In an unfashionable move, police on Thursday morning chased away several veterans of the liberation struggle who had come in solidarity with their detained colleagues.
One of the brutalised senior citizens, Dadirai Chinomona asked if Mnangagwa was aware of the victimisation of war veterans by the police.
“We are not happy that the police are harassing us. Does the President know that we are being harassed? We have not done anything. When are we going to be free in the country that we fought for,” she calmly told journalists while riot police escorted them out of the court premises.
Another war veteran identified as Cde Mashi slammed police for simply arresting and harassing his colleagues for simply demanding a better pension.
“We are simply being arrested for saying that we are hungry. We are not removing anyone. We just want to know why our colleagues were arrested,” he said.
The war veterans want a review of their monthly ZWL 16 000 pensions (US$80 at the official bank rate) that they are currently getting.
Meanwhile, the 49 war veterans arrested for demonstrating over poor pensions appeared in court today. Their lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) say they have been over detained by police.
In charging them, the state said: “The accused persons had no lawful right to participate in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry.”
The disgruntlement of war veterans has not been taken lightly in Zimbabwe following the crucial role that they played in removing the late former President Robert Mugabe in 2017. Nehanda Radio