Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
FORMER freedom fighters will get an allowance increase every time Government increases salaries for members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF).
This is part of Second Republic’s initiative to harmonise the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act with the constitution and improve their welfare.
President Mnangagwa signed the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act into law in 2020 and in the past few years, Government has been fine-tuning the operationalisation of the law.
The law takes care of ZDF, war veterans and ex-political prisoners, detainees and restrictees.
Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said the Second Republic has made strides to address the welfare of former freedom fighters.
“The formula for determining the monthly pension for these categories has now been harmonised under a framework that was improved by the Second Republic to ensure that whenever salaries and allowances of members of the ZDF are adjusted, the monthly pension of veterans is automatically increased,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.
“It should also be noted that whilst all pensions payable from the Consolidated Revenue Fund are administered directly by the Pensions Office in terms of the provisions of the Pensions Review Act [Chap 16:03], the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs is still responsible for initiating fundamental changes to pension policy for its clients.”
She said the intention of the Second Republic in aligning the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act [Chap 17:12] to the Constitution is meant to ensure that Government creates a holistic framework for dealing with their welfare and economic empowerment.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said Government fully paid fees for war veterans’ children for the past year and was in the process of consolidating the list of those who should benefit this year.
“Veterans and their children are also entitled to education benefits at Government schools or educational institutions and in the event of them or their children enrolling at non-Government institutions or outside the country, they are entitled to educational benefits equal in amount to the fees payable at Government schools or institutions,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.
She said Government also provides medical and funeral cover for former freedom fighters, their spouses and children.