NINE war veterans were arrested yesterday after they allegedly besieged Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s office demanding better pensions.
The war veterans, who are members of the War Veterans Welfare pressure group, who were also arrested at the New Government Complex in the central business district, were charged with inciting public violence.
Faith Chananda, Nyasha Mangena, Wonderful Kabarauta, Shorai Nyamangudo, Isso Madzivanyika, Daphne Kanoti, Mazikana Marron, Sthyine Maphosa and Jordan Mberadzina, who are all above 60 years of age, were arrested following several fruitless attempts to engage Ncube.
They were demanding that government should raise their current monthly pension around $16 000, which they said was not enough to meet their basic needs.
“We were not demonstrating,” one of the war veterans said.
“We were actually adhering to COVID-19, while waiting for the minister to bring a response to us. We were blocked by staff members at the Finance ministry on several occasions from meeting the minister so that we table our grievance before him.
“We were informed that the Finance ministry had forwarded our grievance to the Public Service and the State Security ministries. We then demanded to see the copy of the letter which was sent to the ministries and we were told to come today to collect it. That is when we were arrested.”
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he had not yet received the report of the incident.