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Nehanda Guardian Provincial Newspapers

Parliamentary committee “banned”


By Marsha Sengwe

WAR veterans, detainees and collaborators based Mashonaland Central have “banned” the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and War Veterans from coming back to Mashonaland Central for public hearings.

They accuse the parliamentarians of abusing the hearing in order to enjoy allowances when they gather them but there has been no resultant action afterwards to justify the hearings.

The committee was in Bindura on Friday ahead of the Independence celebrations for a public hearing with the war veterans.

Speaker after speaker said there was nothing coming out from the committee and that it kept on coming back for hearings on the same problems but with no resultant action.

The war veterans also said they were unhappy with the way their ministry processed their medical issues.

Before one gets medical assistance through the ministry, they claimed, one had to find three hospitals or pharmacy quotations in order to submit them to the ministry. The ministry would again take time to approve the quotations, leaving the war veterans in a difficult situation.

Some even died before the quotations were approved and the medication availed, they alleged.

Their children's school fees were also being paid late, well after the children had been turned away several times by their respective schools and colleges.

The veterans of the struggle were also appealing for an upward review of their monthly pensions that vary from US$60 to US$100, available in ZiG at bank rate.

They also have a funeral assistance allowance of US$500 but, available in local currency at the prevailing bank rate of any given day.

“We have been informing you (the parliamentary portfolio committee on Defence and War Veterans) of these problems since time immemorial. We don’t want to see you here again,” said Ephanos Mudzimunye, during the hearing at Hala. The announcement of the “ban” of the committee was applauded by the war veterans and their children.

Sam Parirenyatwa, Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association provincial chair, said: “We have been complaining about corruption at the Ministry of Lands and the harassment we are facing from their officers.

“The officers every time a war hero passes away, they are following up on his farm, subdivide it and reduce its size.

“Some are even given to a different person despite the fact that the deceased veteran has his surviving wife and kids at the farm. We have been talking about this for long but we are seeing no improvement or protection,” he complained.

Meanwhile, the same war veterans have called youths to stay strong and vigilant in defence of the mother land.

They have also urged youths to capitalise on resources in their communities than waiting for the “Chinese” to come and enjoy as well as destroy their environments.

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