Government is willing to support war veterans financially but was being handicapped by the current economic challenges, Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Former Political Detainees and Restrictees Minister Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, has said.
He said this in Parliament yesterday while responding to questions from legislators who wanted him to explain Government policy on the welfare of war veterans and whether it was policy that the former freedom fighters be paid $500 000 as payout.
Rtd Col Dube said it was not Government policy to pay war veterans $500 000 and if there was need to pay them any money, the issue would be tabled in the House of Assembly before being implemented.
“It is common knowledge that Government has a duty to ensure war veterans’ welfare is met and fees for their children are paid. It has never been Government policy to give them $500 000. If there is need, the august House will be consulted. I do not think anybody would vote for the $500 000 for war veterans.
“Treasury has problems in raising funds and has been incurring shortfalls for school fees for two terms. Treasury has not been able to pay. The money is not there,” he said. Rtd Col Dube said failure by Treasury to pay the fees did not mean that it was not willing to, but shows that it was facing challenges.
War veterans are entitled to pensions, education fees, medical support, funeral cover, loans and subsistence benefits.Herald