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War vets up in arms with govt over unpaid fees

by Staff reporter
28 Feb 2024 at 06:29hrs | Views
WAR Veterans have expressed disgruntlement over failure by government to pay tuition fees for their children for the past two semesters.

Government pays tuition fees for children of ex-combatants as well as other benefits in appreciation of their role during the armed struggle.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) secretary-general Edward Dube, however, said the government was behind with payments.

Dube implored the government to move swiftly to address the issue with universities set to commence lessons this week.

The University of Zimbabwe resumed lectures on Monday.

"The ZNLWVA emphasises that this situation constitutes a failure on the part of the government to fulfil its obligations as outlined in the statutory provisions of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act (Chapter 17:12) of 2020," Dube said in the statement.

"The current scenario is untenable, as university learners are being denied access to essential services such as registration and accommodation.

"Consequently, students find themselves in a state of dilemma and uncertainty, especially since some universities are scheduled to commence classes this week."

He urged government to prioritise the matter so "that learners are not subjected to unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles, ultimately impeding their educational progress."

Dube reminded the government to uphold Sustainable Development Goal 4, which calls for the provision of inclusive and equitable quality education while availing lifelong learning opportunities for all.

"The association urges the authorities to uphold the principles enshrined in this goal and address the current challenges faced by the students," he said.

"The ZNLWVA calls upon the concerned authorities to give immediate attention to this matter, recognising the importance of providing equitable access to education for the children of war veterans.

"It is our collective responsibility to ensure that these students are not deprived of their right to education due to administrative delays."

Contacted for comment, Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs deputy minister, Monica Mavhunga, urged the former freedom fighters to approach the ministry.

"We have not received such communication from them. They should come to our offices and air their grievances so that they can be addressed," she said.

However, Dube told NewsDay that they had been approaching the ministry over the matter since last year without success.

"The association is seized with engaging relevant stakeholders to ensure that learners are not prejudiced to by the bureaucracy taking place," Dube told NewsDay.

In 1997, angry war veterans pressured the late Robert Mugabe to pay them ZWL$50 000 gratuities for their role in the liberation struggle.

War veterans have been a vital cog of the Zanu-PF electoral machinery, spearheading the party's campaigns.

Source - newsday
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