War Veterans SG In Funeral Policy Storm

By Mark Mhukayesango
GWERU-A GROUP of war veterans here have come out guns blazing against
National War Veterans Association Secretary General, Victor
Matemadanda for buying a car using their hard earned Funeral Policy
monthly contributions.
They are demanding that Matemadanda reimburses undisclosed amounts
allegedly embezzled between January and August this year.
War veterans, who spoke to Radio VOP, accused Matemadanda of misusing
the $20 premiums paid to Progressive Funeral Policy meant to assist
association members in case of death.
Sources who spoke to Radio VOP on condition of anonymity for fear of
victimization bemoaned the abuse of their hard earned contributions
meant to cover 12 dependents, saying Matemadanda was taking advantage
of his position to embezzle funds.
The war veterans reportedly struggled to raise cash after a colleague
passed on last month since the coffers were empty after Matemadanda
allegedly bought the car through the help of some local leadership.
The funeral policy was also set since war veterans were not getting
enough support from government.
Most of the former liberation fighters who contribute $20 every month
in burial funds are living in abject poverty as their monthly
allowances can barely sustain them for a month.
Progressive Funeral is run under Progressive Insurance Brokers which
ploughs back 50 percent of the total contributions made by members,
less expenses, at the end of every financial year.
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity said some members vying
for provincial posts including little known Virginia Mupaso, a
suspected CIO bought Matemadanda a car using funeral cover money.
“Some of our members who wanted favours from Matemadanda bought him a
car with our money. They did this so that they gain favour with him
and possibly be voted into the provincial executive,” a source said.
“We recently buried a member and the family struggled to get
assistance, yet he was paying his monthly subscriptions. Some were
even given a meagre sum which is not fair, “the visibly emotional war
veteran said.
Speaking to Radio VOP, Matemadanda distanced himself from any funeral
policy scam, saying whoever stole the money should be prosecuted.
“There is nothing like that, the war veterans have individual policies
under the Progressive Policy. I do not understand how someone could
steal the funds,” said Matemadanda.
“Whoever stole the money and if it’s Matemadanda let him be prosecuted
–but I did not use any money,” he fumed.
Matemadanda said the war veterans were bitter because he refused to
preside over ‘sham’ elections.
“These claims are coming from bitter comrades who want to tarnish my
image. I did not buy any car from the war veterans’ coffers. The
Funeral policies are made in such a way that there is a written
agreement between the comrade and Progressive, so how am I involved in
this issue,” said Matemadanda.
“These are stupid claims and i can’t believe this,” said the war
veterans secretary general.
A member identified as Mlilo said Matemadanda’s involvement in the
Midlands Province has been the worst thing that has ever happened to
the region.
“Matemadanda’s involvement in the leadership of the province has done
more harm than good. That is why we are having all of these problems
because some comrades want to please him,” Mlilo said.
Midlands Province has been operating without an executive since
Matemadanda nullified the polls in February, arguing that the
elections had not been sanctioned by the national executive.
War veterans here who were aligned to former Chairman, Jabulani
Sibanda say Matemadanda wants to select his own executive since he
“ironically” failed to preside over the elections.
“We cannot have provinces holding elections as and when they like,”
fumed Matemadanda adding that war veterans should be wary of those
aligned to former Vice-president Joice Mujuru. “Midlands, Bulawayo and
Manicaland provinces were infiltrated by Gamatox and I urge you
comrades to be on the lookout,” Matemadanda was quoted saying early
this year.