Members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWA) in Mashonaland East on Wednesday urged the government to raise their monthly gratuities to meet the salaries of serving army lieutenant-colonels.
One of the war veterans who attended a public meeting by the Calisto Gwanetsa-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Security held at Mbuya Nehanda Hall in Marondera, Victor Chinyama, said:
The current benefits of $313 are too little for our welfare. It is not enough given the current inflation rate.
We need our monthly monies to be raised to an equivalent of a lieutenant-colonel’s salary. Some are saying it’s around $2 000 or somewhere there.
Chinyama’s sentiments were corroborated by a Marondera war veteran, Patrick Makombe. He asserted that war veterans’ current earnings were illegal. Said Makombe:
According to the War Veterans Act, the current earnings of $313 is illegal. Those in authority know about it. The legal position is that a war veteran is entitled to $2 000 per month. Let us follow the legal procedures, the current earnings are illegal.
The veterans of the 1970s war of Independence has been continuously demanding favours from the central government in the form of more money and land.
Despite receiving $50 000 each in the late 1990s and around 2000, the ex-combatants have been pressing the government for benefits since.
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