Yeukai Karengezeka and Nesia Mhaka
Government is working on a raft of measures to improve the welfare of war veterans throughout the country, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has said. She told war veterans’ leaders from the 10 provinces during a follow-up meeting on their welfare held in Harare yesterday that the President had approved the establishment of war veterans’ board that will spearhead the association’s special purpose vehicle.
“His Excellency the President approved the War Veterans Board and it will be launched soon once its gender component has been addressed.
“Permanent secretary has sent names of prospective members of provincial boards to the Director-General in the President’s Department for vetting,” she said.
She added that the ministry is expected to buy 439 cattle from the Cold Storage Company (CSC) Farm in Matabeleland North Province for war veterans.
“The ministry is in the process of sourcing funding to the tune of $1,5 million for the purchase of 439 cattle to be distributed to war veterans.
“Negotiations for the cattle are at an advanced stage and the deal should be concluded by the end of next month,” she said.
Minister Muchinguri said the Ministry of Agriculture was expediting the acquisition of eight provincial farms for their agro-business enterprises.
“Minister Shiri has pledged to expedite the identification of the farms and will increase their hectarage in regions such as Mat South since availability of land differs from province to province.
In addition, she said the ministry was seized with ensuring the implementation of the 20 percent quota policy in line ministries for social-economic empowerment of war veterans.
“The chief secretary wrote letters to all ministries directing them to implement the 20 percent quota policy.
“The permanent secretary is holding bi-lateral meetings with each ministry to establish when and what they will offer you,” she said.
“As part of the implementation of this policy, the permanent secretary is engaging his counterpart in the Ministry of Mines to expedite the registration of mining claims for veterans of liberation struggle, in particular gold and chrome and the ministry is also pushing for war veterans to be given some of the already existing mines which are viable from ZMDC,” she said.
Minister Muchinguri said President Mnangagwa had also approved the recruitment of 68 district officers for war veterans’ offices and the recruitment process will be regularised once Treasury’s concurrence has been received.
She also told them that the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Bill was ready to be tabled before Cabinet.
“Copies have been sent to the Minister of Justice and the two Vice Presidents for their comments,” she said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association provincial chairpersons thanked the President for the appointment of war veterans to crucial positions in the party and in Government.
“We are very confident that these tried and tested leaders have the zeal and capacity to deliver on behalf of the party and the nation at large.
“We will be offering our support to ensure the party gains more support and retain all seats in the provinces which went to the opposition.
“We also exp
ress our appreciation to the outgoing National Political Commissar Rtd Lt General Engelbert Rugeje for a job well done during his tenure under very trying times,” they said.