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War vets welcome new minister, issue warning



WAR veterans have congratulated Mashonaland Central proportional representation MP Monica Mavhunga on her appointment as minister of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs to replace the fired Chris Mutsvangwa, but they have urged her to attend to their neglected welfare issues.


The former combatants have been a vital cog in Zanu PF’s electoral campaigns and have in some cases been accused of using brute force to bolster support for the ruling party.

Despite their support for the ruling Zanu PF, the war veterans have constantly been at loggerheads with the government over their welfare, which has been deteriorating on the back of chronic high inflation, erosion of pensions and decimation of monthly payouts.

 In its congratulatory letter, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) urged Mavhunga to look into the welfare of war veterans.

“ZNLWVA congratulates Honourable M. Mavhunga on appointment as Minister of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs. The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) extends its warmest congratulations to Honourable M. Mavhunga on her recent appointment as the Minister of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs,” reads the letter by Edward Dube, the ZNLWVA secretary-general.

“The ZNLWVA expresses its full commitment to collaborating with the Honourable Minister to achieve the objectives outlined in the constitutional and statutory provisions. We believe that by working together, we can address the various challenges faced by war veterans, including socio-economic empowerment, healthcare, housing, and access to educational opportunities.”

“The ZNLWVA looks forward to engaging in constructive dialogue and partnership with the Honourable Minister to ensure the effective implementation of programmes and initiatives that support the welfare and advancement of veterans of the liberation struggle.”

ZNLWVA has also reminded Mavhunga about the constitutional provisions that look into the welfare of war veterans. 

“In light of her appointment, the ZNLWVA would like to draw the Honourable Minister’s attention to the provisions enshrined in the Zimbabwe Constitution, particularly sections 3(i) and 23(3), as well as the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act [Chapter 17:12] of 2020,” reads the letter.

“These legal frameworks outline the rights, entitlements, and support mechanisms for veterans of the liberation struggle, underscoring the importance of their recognition and well-being. We are pleased to note that Honourable M. Mavhunga has previously served as an executive member of the association, providing her with a deep understanding of the challenges faced by war veterans in terms of economic and social deprivation. This first-hand experience positions her well to address the needs and aspirations of the war veteran constituency.”

 War veterans have been on a collision course with the government over their sharply-declining welfare.

For years, Mutsvangwa was criticised by war veterans who believe he did little to improve their welfare and incorporation into the economic development matrix.

In February, President Emmerson Mnangagwa fired Mutsvangwa, his key ally, but did not give reasons.

Mutsvangwa played a key role in the 2017 military coup that propelled Mnangagwa to power.

However, he has been colliding with war veterans over the years, having been fired as chairperson of the ZNLWVA in April last year, over accusations of unprofessional conduct and failure to improve their livelihoods, before bouncing back to the same portfolio after the discredited general elections.

“The association does not celebrate but is not disappointed when an appointing authority disappoints a minister who has failed to collaborate with the war veterans’ community on matters of association and national interest which the association has been advocating since his appointment,” Dube said.

“The issues were raised in writing to the honourable minister, but he did not respond or acknowledge receipt. He was not propagating constitutional and statutory obligations stated in the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act (Chapter 17:12) and the constitution of Zimbabwe.”

In October last year, Mutsvangwa neither responded nor acknowledged ZNLWVA’s congratulatory letter after his appointment as minister.

This month, war veterans cried foul after tertiary educational institutions denied their children enrolment over the government’s failure to pay fees on time.

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