Tensions rise as war veterans slam ED Mnangagwa’s government

File Pic: War Vets demonstrate

VETERANS of Zimbabwe’s 1970s struggle for independence accused the Zanu PF government of leaving them out as the party continues to dish out gifts to other party affiliates, NewsDay can report.

In a statement, the recently appointed Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association Harare province secretary for information and publicity Fredrick Ngombe said: “We are at loss (for) words to articulate our disappointment at government’s failure to honour its part of the social contract with ex-fighters in addressing our monthly pension payments which are far below the poverty datum line.

“We feel pained, not jealous when some in society enjoy the fruits of our sacrifices while we are marginalised. True the majority of ex-fighters lack the professional capacities of other patriots who had every opportunity to excel in their respective fields of endeavour, while for us such opportunities were nipped in the bud by the armed struggle.”

Party loyalist, chiefs and legislators have for several years been gifted with top-of-the-range vehicles and other expensive assets like houses and land.

War veterans believe government has neglected to address their needs, among them food and school fees for their children and grandchildren.

He said little to no post-traumatic stress disorder rehabilitation was done to successfully reintegrate the former guerrilla war fighters into society.

“As an association we are not pleading for handouts, but for facilitation to engage in empowerment programmes to become self-dependent and self-sufficient, thereby making it possible for the national fiscus to cater for other equally-deserving demands of society,” he added.

Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs minister Monica Mavhunga last week told former liberation fighters to look for alternative sources of funds to help government because it has been struggling to meet their needs.

“As your minister, I am fully committed to supporting your efforts and ensuring that you have the resources and support needed to succeed.

“You should also do you best to look for alternative sources of funds and not just rely on allocations from Treasury. I also urge you to increase the visibility and mainstreaming of veterans and heroes dependants’ issues, particularly in the public domain. There is too much silence in this area,” she said.

Mavhunga also indicated that board chairpersons had signed performance contracts outlining clear objectives and targets that are aligned with the overarching goal of enhancing the welfare and economic empowerment of veterans and heroes dependants.

“It is imperative that each board performs in tandem with these contracts, as they serve as a roadmap for our collective efforts,” she said. NewsDay.

Breaking News via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our website and receive notifications of Breaking News by email.