Veterans of the liberation struggle lobby for more government support

By ZBC Reporter
PARTICIPANTS who attended the public hearing on the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Bill in Masvingo this Thursday say war veterans need more government support as most of them can no longer fend for their families because of age.
War veterans, war collaborators and their children had an opportunity to air their views to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services in Masvingo this Thursday.
The participants said the government should channel more resources towards the welfare of the veterans of the liberation struggle, particularly on issues to do with access to health and education of their children.
“The freedom fighters are against the repealing of the War Veterans Act. The bill should consider those who perished in the liberation war,” said one participant
“The age limit on fees payment for the children of the war veterans should be removed,” echoed another participant.
“As children of the war veterans, some of our parents are late. May we be allowed to go through the vetting process and represent our parents who are late,” highlighted another participant.
“We wish to be awarded medals as war veterans and we are urging the government to allocate land to the war collaborators who did not manage to get land during the land reform programme,” said another participant.

The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services, Levi Mayihlome highlighted that apart from welfare issues they are also concerned about the inclusion of war veterans in the board that will represent their interests.
“The concerns that were raised are the welfare of the war veterans, the benefits pronounced in the bill and the board that is going to be constituted by the minister,” said the chairperson.
Consultations are being carried out in all the country’s provinces with the findings set to be debated in parliament.
The purpose of this Bill is to provide for rights and benefits of veterans of the liberation struggle and their dependents, to provide for the establishment of the 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 matters incidental to or connected with the veterans of the liberation struggle.