Mugabe blows $2m on war vets indaba

Source: Mugabe blows $2m on war vets indaba – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 5, 2016

THE cash-strapped government last month blew $2 million to fund President Robert Mugabe’s three-hour meeting with war veterans at a time Treasury owed over $23 million in school fees for the former freedom fighters’ children, it has emerged.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Initially, the indaba, held on April 7 at City Sports Centre in Harare, had been allocated $250 000, but the bill mysteriously ballooned to $2 million.

War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube told journalists in Harare yesterday that his ministry had to divert part of the $6 million reserved for school fees to bankroll the indaba on the understanding that Treasury would reimburse the money soon after the meeting.

“We were allocated $6 million by the Ministry of Finance to meet school fees needs for our members and due to financial problems, Treasury allowed us a bit of money from that allocation and it is from that money that we took $2 million to fund the indaba,” he said.

Dube said the $2 million was spent on accommodation, transport, decorations and food for the nearly 10 000 participants at the meeting.

Dube said Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa had committed to reimburse the $2 million into the school fees fund soon after the meeting, but was yet to do so.

“We know he is going to make it so that we will be able to meet our fees obligations as directed by President Mugabe. We trust the minister when he says he will pay,” he said.

Dube said the $6 million allocation was meant for the 2016 first term fees, adding it was not sufficient to meet fees of the over 22 500 applicants catered for by the ministry.

He also said government owed schools $23 million in unpaid school fees for children of war veterans stretching over the past three years.

The minister said he was faced with a herculean task after war collaborators and detainees were also directed to his ministry yet resources had been slow to come his way.

Dube said he expected membership numbers to climb to nearly 700 000 including former detainees, which would likely cost government nearly $2 billion in welfare and compensation issues.

He further questioned the age of some of the war collaborators with indications that some of them were just 40 years old, 36 years after independence.

“It would mean they were collaborators at the age of three or four years, and if you raise these issues, you are told all kinds of politics,” Dube said.

At the indaba, war veterans made several demands including tax exemptions, allocation of 10 % shares of companies in the ongoing indigenisation drive and the expulsion of Zanu PF national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.

Dube said his ministry was only able to deal with the welfare of its members, while the other issues would be directed to line ministries for them to be addressed.

“The issue of the commissariat is a party issue and leaders of the party were there and heard what was discussed. What we are going to do is prepare a report and forward it to relevant ministries and the party… I am sure something is being done about the issues that were raised at the indaba, which include lands and mines,” he said.

So far, Dube said, his ministry had processed school fees applications for 8 300 pupils and disbursed $2,5 million. He said the ministry would disburse fees for another

7 000 pupils by the end of today as he comes under increasing pressure from parents and pupils who want their fees paid.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 5 years ago

    700 000, and growing daily. Where do I sign up?

    The British duck and dive, the Europeans duck and dive, the Americans duck and dive. The Chinese, the Russians, the IMF and the World Bank duck and dive.

    Isn’t it time one of them had the maturity to take the Zimbabwe government aside and explain to them in kind but firm language that it is time up? There is nowhere to go, and no way out. Even if the IMF is dumb enough to lend (= give) them more money, it can never be enough to satisfy the needs of a government that is being held to ransom by civil servants, ‘war veterans’, soldiers, policemen, the judiciary, and all the multitudes who know too much and have to be kept sweet and quiet.

    In the history of the modern world, there can have been no government so crassly inept, incompetent, self-misguided, corrupt and plain stupid, as the one with which we are dealing here, and yet the whole world is politely engaging them with snippets of advice which, being diplomatically phrased, is falling on the deaf ears of mindless morons.

    Please, ‘international community’, act responsibly and stop this senseless nonsense for the benefit of everyone.

  • comment-avatar
    Zozozo 5 years ago

    Two million for a three hour meeting, it’s absolutely proposterous and yet Zimbabweans, idiotic and stupid as a brick, educated as we claim to be won’t even make a whimper of a sound as a collective, were these people using gold platted decorations? Why do we allow our country to be held hostage to these vets, who are they any way and why do we feel the need to placate their ever growing demands. They are a bunch of insincere opportunists who deserve nothing from us but our respect for their role in the assumption of independence. They claim they fought for the freedom of this country and yet they go around holding a noose to the country’s neck, we owe you nothing but our thanks for if it was not your generation that went to war to fight for this country’s independence it would have been the next, be it resolved that you were fighting against social injustice not to get shares in a company that you didn’t invest even half a cent in to, because if that was the case you a no better than mercenaries with no loyalties but financial gain. To hell with these I want-give me war vets. Their time is as expired as the president they worship, the sooner they rot in their graves the better, while they have some legitimate concerns regarding their welfare so do millions of other Zimbabweans. We have had enough of these hooligans they are no more special than the next povo. Even Indwangu can pull a trigger, you guys are part and parcel of the problems we find ourselves in as a nation.

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 5 years ago

    AFTER 36 YEARS THEY STILL HAVE SCHOOL GOING CHILDREN! !!!!! MUST BE VERY FERTILE!

  • comment-avatar
    TJINGABABILI 5 years ago

    HELLO BIG SPENDER! !!!@