PENSIONS for the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle are being reviewed upwards to match those of the uniformed forces and the rest of the civil service.
Speaking at the launch of a vetting process of war vets and war collaborators, at a hotel in Harare yesterday, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, also Zanu PF chairman, said the Second Republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa is making strides in recognising and taking care of the welfare of war veterans and non-ex combatants.
“Government is working tirelessly to improve the welfare of the veterans of the liberation struggle. The pensions are being reviewed and benchmarked with uniformed forces and the rest of the civil service,” she said.
“The relevant Government department is going to issue a statement on the reviews with finer details by the end of March 2022.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the commencement of the vetting process of the country’s veterans of the liberation struggle follows the successful completion of the registration exercise by President Mnangagwa on June 12 last year. She said the registration exercise started on June 17, 2021 and successfully ended on July 17 2021. 205 753 applicants have been registered so far with room still open for consideration to some applicants that failed to register for various reasons.
“Recognising that not all applicants will be successful in the vetting process and that we are bound to have disputes, we have set up a dispute resolution mechanism to speedily attend to the issues.
“We have set up a supervisory committee composed of sectorial and regional commanders and senior war veterans’ familiar with the operations of different sectors,” she said.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the vetting process was long overdue owing to a number of impediments, but it was high time it was brought to closure.
She said the vetting exercise was geared towards confirming how transparent, inclusive and consultative the process is to those who are deserving beneficiaries.
Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Ambassador Mark Grey Marongwe said the vetting process marks the final mop up vetting of the war veterans, ex-political prisoners, ex-detainees and restrictees.
“This is indeed a key deliverable for the ministry under the 2022 strategic plan. Treasury has done its best to provide the necessary resources.
“It is therefore critical that the exercise should be properly conducted as it will be a huge challenge to assemble such a group of people again in the foreseeable future,” he said.
Veterans of the Liberation Struggle board chairperson, Major General (retired) Gibson Mashingaidze said the exercise should be on the lookout for some rogue elements that may seek to gain fraudulently from vetting exercise.
Major General (retired) Gibson Mashingaidze said they might also be other people who may give false narratives or offer to be witnesses to support fraudulent claims in return for monetary gains.
War veterans’ secretary in the Zanu PF Politburo, Cde Douglas Mahiya, said the party remains supportive of steps being taken by the Government in uplifting welfare of the war veterans.
Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators Association chairman, Cde Pupurai Togarepi, said it was exciting that war collaborators were being vetted.
“It was our wish, our feeling that we contributed to the liberation struggle hence we expected the Government to recognise what we did during the liberation struggle.
“Our commitment to Zimbabwe should be respected and we want to thank the President for availing us this opportunity as war collaborators,” he said.