THE late war veterans chairman Chenjerai “Hitler” Hunzvi’s Polish wife is up in arms with Zimbabwean authorities who have allegedly kept her husband’s benefits away from her since the firebrand ex-combatant died 15 years ago.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com weekend, Kanclerz opened up on her frustrations with authorities in Harare whom she said have ignored her pleas to have a local bank branch transfer her benefits which she says have accrued up to US$11,504.
“I have never received this compensation,” she said from her base in Poland.
“…. Bank Harare has been sending me bank statements every month since your economic problems occurred.”
However, there is confusion as to the real amount she is being owed as current War Veterans Minister Tshinga Dube said she was entitled to $12 a month.
When Hunzvi died at 51, Kanclerz says, she was entitled to monthly benefits of Z$36,000,000 but the amount has been changing due to the country’s spiralling economy.
The bank, she continues, has been sending statements to her with no sign of any transfers, prompting her enquiry with the bank in February this year.
“They sent me 3 electronic statements since then and that’s all,” she said.
“From that moment I have been asking several times the bank manager about all those issues. I was completely ignored…I don’t have the money in real; I have it only in your local bank. I fulfil all requirements the bank needed including Swift nbr to my bank in Poland.”
Now retired since 2012, Kanclerz says the amount owed to her is less than average in Poland but would nonetheless help “a lot” for her upkeep.
Kanclerz says she feels let down by authorities in Harare who have not done enough to force the bank to release her dues.
Dube confirmed receiving enquiries from Kanclerz’s but professed ignorance over the money at the bank, instead, saying Hunzvi’s widow was entitled to only $12 a month like all widows to the country’s former liberators.
“She is receiving something like $12 or so which is very little but this is something that is beyond our control,” Dube said.
Dube said Kanclerz was like every widow to a former war veteran whose benefits were still to be negotiated between government and the widows.
“She phoned me once and I told her exactly the problems that we have. Things have to be started right from the start because it is not us who decide what the benefits are. They were decided long ago, but very shortly we will be talking to His Excellency (President Robert Mugabe) about widows’ benefits. Remember the meeting we had some three weeks ago and His Excellency said he wanted to meet the widows.”
Dube said he could not deal with individuals as widows’ compensation was a policy issue that should be dealt with at a broader level.
Hunzvi is a firebrand war veteran who spearheaded the push for the release of Z$50,000 gratuities and additional monthly payouts per each veteran in 1997.
He also led the 2000 invasion of white owned farmland by war veterans.