By NQOBANI NDLOVU
THE Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) in Bulawayo has called for an urgent emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss various issues affecting the country and their welfare, among other things as the economic meltdown continues to erode their measly monthly pensions.
War veterans, a vital cog of Zanu PF during elections have not been spared by the vagaries of the harsh economic climate that has seen prices of basics and services ballooning to unaffordable levels.
Southern Eye heard ex-combatants want, among other things, a review of their monthly gratuities, arguing their current stipends of less than $400 were measly and have pauperised them.
ZNLWVA Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Christopher Sibanda confirmed the Wednesday meeting to be held at the former fighters’ offices in Entumbane high-density suburb.
“We have an urgent meeting starting early on the day. All ex-combatants including ex-detainees, war collaborators and others are expected to attend the meeting,” Sibanda said.
He, however, could not be drawn to disclose the agenda of the meeting, but ZNLWVA sources said ex-combatants feel let down by government for not cushioning them against the harsh economic climate.
In December, a group of war veterans, led by Fredrick Ngombe, besieged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Munhumutapa Office in Harare, demanding that their monthly stipends be increased to about ZWL$2 000 each and that their remaining gratuities be settled, but the demands went unheeded.
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In 1997, war veterans were given ZW$50 000 each as compensation for their war efforts and injuries sustained at the battlefront.