WAR veterans secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda has called for government leadership renewal, saying the current “corrupt” Zanu-PF regime had proved beyond doubt that it was not committed to improving the welfare of the liberation war fighters.
“We can’t talk of our welfare with people who don’t know how to run a country. We have to ensure that this corrupt system is removed before we talk of our welfare,” he said.
Matemadanda made the remarks yesterday following reports that government owed $37 million in unpaid school fees for war veterans’ children and was struggling to raise former fighters’ monthly pension payouts.
War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube confirmed the reports, saying the financial squeeze was not peculiar to his ministry, as it had crippled all line ministries.
“We are a welfare ministry, which is supposed to take care of the welfare needs of war veterans in line with constitutional provisions, but we are struggling to pay school fees for the children of war veterans,” he said.
Dube said some of the divisions rocking the war veterans’ body were being fuelled by lack of welfare support from the government.
“We see all these things coming to an end once our war veterans are well taken care of. They are hungry and angry after spending time in the bushy fighting for independence, they want to enjoy the fruits. We went to a war veterans conference in South Africa and they had R2 million, which they had not spent and were returning to government.
“I believe our government is committed to taking care of the war veterans, but the resources are not there, once the economy turns around they will be taken care off,” he said.