Treasury has released US$6,4 million for school fees for liberation war veterans’ children and beneficiaries will start accessing the money this week, a senior Government official has said.
This follows an undertaking President Mugabe made at his meeting with war veterans in Harare last Thursday where the former freedom fighters tabled their grievances. Permanent Secretary for Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Ex-Political Detainees and Ex-Restrictees Brigadier-General (Retired) Walter Tapfumaneyi said a special purpose vehicle had also been set up to run bankable projects for the veterans.
“We received the funding from Treasury to pay school fees for the first term of 2016. We will now be making the payments for the arrears and expect Treasury to also give us bills for the second term.
“We also have arrears dating back to the third term of 2013, so we are hoping that these will also be paid off. There are six benefits which war veterans are entitled to: pension benefits, education fees, medical support, funeral cover, loans and subsistence benefits. However, out of all these, Government is mainly committing to one, which is the payment of fees. This has been the situation over the past 17 years.”
He said last week’s historic meeting between President Mugabe and war veterans would breathe life into economic projects the ministry had embarked on.
Rtd Brig-Gen Tapfumaneyi said an SPV, People’s Own Wealth Empowerment Right (Power) Zimbabwe Private Limited, would help increase war veterans’ financial capacity through multi-million-dollar initiatives. Dzimbahwe Trust superintends the SPV.
“There are a number of projects that we are embarking on, and now that we have received the full backing of our patron, we feel that these projects are also going to get a new lease of life,” Rtd Brig-Gen Tapfumaneyi said.
“As a ministry, we have established the Dzimbahwe Trust and its members are going to be appointed by the President at the recommendation of the minister. This trust will own Power Zim Pvt Ltd, which will establish stakes in mining, agriculture, media and other businesses.
“The dividends at the end of each financial cycle will be declared to Dzimbahwe Trust, which will then distribute them to all war veterans on a pro-rata basis. This means every war veteran stands to benefit . . .
“Cabinet has already approved that we build the liberation memorial hospitals in Harare, Victoria Falls and Bulawayo. We have been offered money, about US$300 million from India Export Import Bank, for the Harare and Victoria Falls hospitals.
“A lot of progress has been made, and we are engaging the Ministry of Finance on feasibility studies. After this, we will engage India Export Import Bank representatives to defend the project and show our capacity to pay back the loan.
“We have also been granted hunting concessions in Matetsi 4, Victoria Falls courtesy of the support we received from Minister Oppah Muchinguri and the Permanent Secretary, Mr Prince Mupazviriho. So, we are now in the process of operationalising that investment. Furthermore, we have taken up a 19 percent stake for bus assembling; we have been offered a guarantee of US$105 million from China for our share as Power Zim Ltd.”
Rtd Brig-Gen Tapfumaneyi said his ministry would “tick out the boxes and come up with an implementation matrix” to improve veterans’ welfare.