Mugabe gives in to war vets

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has given in to demands by war veterans to meet him to discuss their demand for $20 000 payout each and their welfare.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association secretary general Shadreck Makombe confirmed the development.

“We now understand that our patron president Robert Mugabe is now ready to meet us as we are vigorously pursuing what is due to us as stated in the War Veterans Act that is the pension money, education and funeral funds,” he said.

“We have been actively engaging relevant people and departments to enable us to meet our leader, and I am glad it is going to happen soon.”

Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba was not immediately available to verify the claims.

But Makombe said war veterans had embarked on a vetting exercise of their membership countrywide.

“The last war veterans’ census exercise was carried in 1996 to 7 before we received our gratuities. Now many of us have since died, so we do not have an accurate figure of the living and dead comrades,” he said.

Zimbabwean war veterans have demanded $1 billion in fresh gratuities and diamond mining claims in Marange.
Makombe said the demands they were making were legitimate and justified because globally countries honour their war veterans by paying them.

“People want to make sensational stories about the payment of war veterans and have wrong perceptions on the meaning of our gratuities yet it’s our right,” said Makombe.

He dismissed suggestions that they were holding government to ransom by demanding money when the country’s coffers were empty.

“We are not cry-babies, we have been following protocol in terms of wanting our benefits and we are not talking of things that are out of this world but our rights which must be honoured.

“We made our presentation of demands to Parliament two weeks ago and it has not changed. Everyday we are reading stories in the press that there is diamond looting and all we are asking is to be given our share of the diamonds so that we can improve our welfare. We are getting old and we must be rewarded for liberating this country.”

In a shock appeal before Parliament’s Defence and Home Affairs committee last week, the ex-combatants’ representatives Makombe and retired major-general Richard Ruwodo said their 50 000-strong members wanted $20 000 each, and gem mining concessions in the eastern part of the country.

Comments (3)

The never-filled war vets will continue to ask for more.

Riman10 - 8 March 2013

So this will be the second time this idiot destroys the economy by giving the "war vets" so much money. Where in the rest of the world do war vets (that's real war vets who fought for the country not for money like mercenaries) demand and are given hand outs just because they fought a war? If you think about, there can only be about a 1000 of them left the rest having died of AIDS and old age. The 50,000 now were never fighters so don't deserve anything and if they threaten us, the police and army should straighten them out. Don't kill the country again by giving money to these scroungers who refuse to find work.

Peter Macklyn - 9 March 2013

Major ruwodo claims there are 50hiv/aids ,000 war vets alive. yet in 1980 there were 50,000 war vets. Now many have died from old age, war wounds, malaria, cancer, insanity, poverty, neglect and by other means. This means that whole at least 90% have died, either war vets are miraculously being created like bunching onions, or ghost war vets are receiving their pay every month, just like the voters role where Ian Smith and my mother, being long dead, are still alive and voting for zanupf faithfully every election. Sadly he cannot claim that it is justa guess, because he is an official and knows the exact figure of the amount of war vets, truly alive and mirage ones.

wordwriter - 11 March 2013

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