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Golden handshake for war vets

Local News
Monica Mutsvangwa

GOVERNMENT has handsomely rewarded war veterans by availing mining concessions to them to ostensibly boost its chances of turning the mining sector into a US$12 billion industry.

The development was announced by Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa during a post-Cabinet media briefing in the capital on Tuesday.

“Cabinet received and adopted sundry updates of the mining sector as presented by the minister of Mines and Mining Development, Winston Chitando. The sundry update is towards the US$12 billion mining industry,” Mutsvangwa said

“Cabinet also approved a number of special grant applications in the following categories, extension to current special grants which have suddenly been exploited, empowerment of war veterans mining syndicates and strategic development and expansion projects towards the US$12 billion milestones.”

After President Emmerson Mnangagwa indicated a few months ago that war veterans would play a crucial mobilisation role for Zanu PF ahead of the 2023 elections, many believe the mining concessions being doled out could be a thank you in advance.

The ruling party recently formed a new wing, the war veterans’ league, to strengthen and broaden its campaign strategies ahead of the polls.

Mnangagwa, who has been endorsed as the Zanu PF presidential candidate, is expected to square off against Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa, whom he narrowly beat in the disputed 2018 elections.

The 1970s liberation war fighters appear to have cornered Mnangagwa after demanding that he also approves “commensurate benefits”, including loan guarantees and rebates for duty-free car imports before they can back his 2023 re-election bid.

A few months ago, government announced that 160 000 war collaborators had been successfully vetted and were eligible to receive their pay-outs after missing out in the 1997 first round of disbursements.

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