The Ministry of Defence and War Veteran Affairs has asked the government for an upward review of pensions for ex-combatants to match those of a retired army major.
Currently, the veterans of Zimbabwe’s protracted armed struggle for independence receive monthly allowances of $350.00.
If the request is granted, the war veterans will pocket monthly pensions of up to $600.00 since a serving army major reportedly earns that amount excluding allowances.
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The request was revealed by Defence and War Veterans secretary Mark Grey Marongwe when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs. Said Marongwe:
Our pensions review tribunal has consulted relevant authorities and agreed on the policy of indexing war veterans pensions to the grade of a Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) warrant officer so that whenever their salaries are reviewed, the war veterans’ pensions are also reviewed.
Currently, the pension of registered war veterans is $350 and that of ex-detainees is pegged at $317 and currently the amount they are receiving is too little for them to survive and efforts are being made to lobby for a reasonable and meaningful increase and hence the ministry is proposing for an increase of the pensions from that of a retired warrant officer to that of a retired ZNA major.
Marongwe said that there is a need to raise the school fees assistance for children of war veterans which currently ranges from $2 000 to $4 000 per term.
He claimed that the country’s war veterans earn less than their South African counterparts.
Marongwe also called for the recognition of liberation war collaborators and combatants in transition or non-combatants.