War veterans in Mashonaland East have demanded to be all buried at the national Heroes Acre saying the classification of the freedom fighters is baseless as they all fought for a common cause.
Speaking during a Calisto Gwanetsa-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Security public hearings held at Mbuya Nehanda Hall in Marondera recently, a top Marondera war veteran Chrispen Mashayamombe said it is high time that every former freedom fighter be buried at the national shrine.
“When we went to war it was all about liberating ourselves and the masses. We were all equal and united in the battlefield. Why is it now we are being classified, some as provincial heroes, some as district heroes while some are honoured at ward level? This is not right. We want every war veteran to be buried at the national heroes’ acre. The hill has enough space for all of us,” he fumed.
Currently, war veterans with top positions in Zanu PF are accorded the national hero status, while others are buried at either provincial or district heroes
Meanwhile, the war veterans have demanded control of Ruwa Rehabilitation Centre claiming it belongs to them.
A war veteran James Mlambo said war veterans are the owners of the centre, but were chucked out at the instigation of the late former army general Solomon
“We are the owners of Ruwa Rehab as war veterans. The late Mujuru chased us out of the centre. The war veterans benefitted from the centre through getting affordable medical assistance but it is now a thing of the past. We are struggling to get medicine and given our ages all of us are sick. The former War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube wrote to (Priscah) Mupfumira sometime back so that we get back the centre, but it could not happen. The centre belongs to the comrades,” he said.
Mlambo claimed that the centre is now being run by people without knowledge of its history.
Ruwa Rehabilitation is home for people with severe and multiple injuries with a strong bias to spinal code. It provides respite care, rehabilitation and training for caregivers.