Government yesterday gazetted the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Bill to establish a board that will address their rights, welfare and benefits, among other issues.
The Bill, HB 15 (2019), will repeal the War Veterans Act and the Ex-Political, Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees Act. “The purpose of the Bill is to provide for the rights and benefits of veterans of the liberation struggle and their dependants; to provide for the establishment of a Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Fund; to provide for the establishment of a Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Board, its composition and functions; to repeal the War Veterans Act (Chapter 11:15); to repeal the Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees Act (Chapter 17:10) and to provide for the matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing,” reads part of the memorandum of the Bill.
Clauses three, four and five of the Bill provide for the establishment of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Board and the functions and powers of the board.
“The board shall consist of not less than 10 and not more than 13 members appointed by the minister consisting of the following: (a) the Chief Director who shall be an ex officio member of the board; (b) the Commander of Zimbabwe Defence Forces or his or her alternate; (c) eight persons nominated by their respective organisations which, in the minister’s opinion, represent the interests of each of the following — liberation war fighters, ex-political prisoners, detainees and restrictees, non-combatant cadres and war collaborators; (d) one representative from the ministry; a registered legal practitioner; and the secretary of the board,” reads part of the Bill.
The functions of the Board are set out in Section 4 of the Bill.
Reads Section 4 of the Bill: “The functions of the board shall be, “(a) to advise the Minister on the establishment of any scheme in terms of this Act or on any matter relating to any scheme; (b) to address issues relating to rights, benefits and general welfare of veterans of the liberation struggle; (c) to examine and determine any representations by any person claiming entitlement to be accredited or registered as a veteran of the liberation struggle or dependant where such accreditation or registration has been refused by the ministry; (d) subject to this Act, to hear and determine any representations or complaints made by any veteran of the liberation struggle or dependant of such veteran relating to the grant, payment or delivery of any benefit to him or her; (e) to perform any other function which the ministry may confer on the board for the purpose of this Act.”
The gazetting of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Bill is part of Government’s efforts to provide for the welfare of all veterans of the liberation struggle as required by the Constitution.