via War veterans want piece of community share cake – DailyNews Live by Chengetai Zvauya 3 APRIL 2014
Legislators have demanded that proceeds from community share ownership trusts fund the welfare of war veterans.
Ex-liberation war fighters also demanded that President Robert Mugabe re-establishes a ministry responsible for the welfare of war veterans and resuscitate their fund.
The motion was moved by Zanu PF MPs Ronald Mudzeredzwa (Buhera Central) and Mapetere Mawere (Zaka West) who said they were touched by the plight of war veterans.
Remigious Matangira, Zanu PF MP for Bindura South, said he had identified projects in his constituency with fellow war veterans that needed funding from the state and suggested using money from the community share ownership trusts.
“We know that government has started the share ownership trusts; if we can have part of the money funding war veterans, it will go a long way in helping them as most of them are living in poverty,” Matangira said.
“Minister of Indigenisation and Youth Empowerment Francis Nhema should help us in getting the funds as he should visit our constituency to help start projects for the war veterans from the community share ownership fund.”
He demanded that all MPs who are war veterans stand-up in Parliament, resulting in more than 20 MPs standing up.
Among them was Tendai Makunde (Murehwa South), Oliver Mandipaka (Buhera West) Clifford Sibanda (Bubi) who all lamented the plight of the war veterans who they said were living like paupers.
Anastancia Ndlovu, Zanu PF MP, broke down while debating the motion, saying she was touched by the sacrifices by war veterans in liberating the country.
The legislators said Treasury was not providing enough funds to support them in terms of education, medical allowances, burial and money to start projects.
War veterans said they were not spared the economic downturn and demanded that government reviews their monthly allowances, which is currently pegged at $165.
They want them pegged at the poverty datum line, currently at $511. Presently, war veterans are under the Defence ministry but yesterday they said they wanted to have their own ministry to cater for their needs.
Sibanda said the $50 000 they received in 1997 as pension had long been exhausted and they had not received any benefits from the State for the past 15 years.
Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa allocated $18 million to the war veterans as a department in the ministry of Defence, which the legislators claim was too little as they had asked for $58 million.