War veterans have called for exemption from paying land rentals and electricity among other non-monetary incentives to help improve their living conditions.Speaking at a veterans indaba in Chinhoyi at the weekend, they said their monthly payout is not enough to make ends meet.
About 34 000 war veterans get a monthly payout of $206 each, which they say is too little to sufficiently provide for their families and they called for it to be matched with the Poverty Datum Line (PDL).
With the little money that we get in payouts, we are unable to raise money for rentals and also the fact that we fought for the same land should influence the decision to exempt us from paying for it, said one war veteran at the meeting.
Some said they are losing the land that they were given while others had their land reduced in the on-going downsizing exercise.
Secretary for war veterans in the zanu-pf Politburo Dr Sydney Sekeramayi said he would raise the issue with Lands and Resettlement Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora, to understand the situation on the ground.
Downsizing under these circumstances should target those with larger farms stretching up to 1 000 hectares not those with 50ha. I will converse with my colleague and seek to understand the situation on the ground, he said.
The war veterans also said they wanted residential stands, arguing that it should not only be a programme for youths.
It maybe surprising, they said that most of them do not have stands and yet their children who are under their care are given stands.
To this, Dr Sekeramayi said stands should not only be for youths saying he would raise the issue with his superiors.
They also called for timeous payment of their children’s fees saying delays were affecting their schooling as they are often expelled from school.
Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators, Detainees and Restricted Minister Tshinga Dube said addressing the welfare issues for war veterans was a process that could not be done overnight. Herald