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Zimbabwe war vets get 35 mines

by Staff reporter
10 Apr 2023 at 07:25hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa allocated 35 mines to war veterans two years ago to empower the liberation war icons, but officials entrusted with the responsibility to handover the claims have not done so amid allegations of corruption.

Addressing war veterans at Davies Hall in Bulawayo last Thursday, the Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, said a probe to establish why war veterans have not been given the mining claims that include gold and lithium, two years after President Mnangagwa allocated them, has since been launched.

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri, who is also the ruling Zanu-PF national chairperson, said it was regrettable that senior officials in her ministry were involved in uncouth dealings, in the process bringing the name of the President into disrepute.

She said the Second Republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa was committed to improving the welfare of war veterans.

"The President in 2020 approved 35 mines which he said should be allocated to war veterans. These mines are across the country, some have since been given out to the beneficiaries, but others are yet to be handed over.

"We are hearing that the delays are as a result of underhand dealings by officials and I have reported that to the President. We are investigating and I want to assure you that we will get to the bottom of the matter.

"War veterans should never suffer," said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.

She also took the opportunity to apprise the war veterans on the operationalisation of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act (Chapter 17:12) following its promulgation in September 2020.

The enactment of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act was in pursuit of President Mnangagwa's vision to move the country towards a prosperous and empowered middle-income society by 2030.

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said prior to the process of aligning laws to the Constitution, war veterans and ex-political prisoners, detainees and restrictees were administered by two separate pieces of legislation namely, the War Veterans Act (Chapter 11:15) and the ex-political prisoners, detainees and restrictees Act (Chapter 17:10). These acts have since been repealed and replaced by the all-encompassing Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act (Chapter 17:12) which recognises all the categories of veterans of the liberation struggle as provided for by the Constitution. These are war veterans, ex-political prisoners, detainees and restrictees, non-combatant cadres and war collaborators.

"She said the intention of the Second Republic in aligning the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act (Chapter 17:12) to the Constitution is for Government to create a holistic framework for dealing with the welfare and economic empowerment of veterans of the liberation struggle.

"Through this Act, including the repealed legislation, veterans of the liberation struggle were and are still entitled to a monthly pension.

"Veterans and their children are also entitled to education benefits at Government schools or educational institutions and in the event of them or their children enrolling at non-Government institutions or outside the country, they are given educational benefits equal in amount to the fees payable at Government schools or institutions," said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.

Government capped school fees allowance for war veterans' children at US$300 paid in local currency equivalent.

She said in addition, veterans, their spouses and children are entitled to full medical cover in the event of illness. In the unfortunate occurrence of death, families of deceased veterans are entitled to funeral grants as well as 20 percent of land gazetted for resettlement.

"In the past pensions for war veterans and ex-political prisoners, detainees and restrictees were determined differently.

"The formula for determining the monthly pension for these categories has now been harmonised under an indexation framework that was improved by the Second Republic to ensure that whenever salaries and allowances of members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces are increased, the monthly pensions of war veterans are also automatically increased.

"It should also be noted that while all pensions payable from the Consolidated Revenue Fund are administered directly by the Pension Office in terms of the provisions of the Pensions Review Act (Chapter 16:03), the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs is still responsible for initiating fundamental changes to pension policy for its clients," said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.

Source - The Herald
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