Blessings Chidakwa Mashonaland West Bureau
Government has set aside at least 500 hectares of land in each province to support income-generating projects for former freedom fighters.
The move is part of President Mnangagwa’s unwavering support for the liberation war veterans across the country.
Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has since written letters to Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs across the country instructing them to identify 500ha farms to be used for war veteran’s income-generating projects whose proceeds would be channeled into a revolving fund meant to cater for their welfare.
Addressing a Mashonaland West provincial war veterans meeting in Karoi recently, Provincial Affairs Minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka confirmed receiving the instruction.
“A letter came to my office that each province should identify and allocate war veterans a farm measuring more than 500 hectares, even the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association provincial chairperson Cde Cornelius Muoni is aware of the development.
“The farm will be used for income generating projects to cater for their welfare, so l am currently looking for a suitable place of 500 hectares in the province for the war veterans,” she said.
Minister Mliswa-Chikoka, however, challenged the liberation fighters to play a leading role in reviving the country’s economy.
“War veterans have a spirit of fighting, but now we are living in the phase of economic war. It’s no longer that of guns that one can be won easily as everyone will just be given a gun and start firing, but the economic war is hard because it communicates directly through the stomach.
“President Mnangagwa is striving day and night to resuscitate the economy, but there are detractors frustrating his efforts. Let us be wary of these people in our societies.
“War veterans are our mouthpiece and spokesmen but they are sometimes humiliated, but they have remained resolute something which we applaud them for, but the economic fight calls for unity,” she said.
Minister Mliswa-Chikoka said there was also need to address issues around the relationship between the war veterans and Government so that they pull together.
Meanwhile, Cde Muoni reiterated the war veterans’ support for President Mnangagwa adding that they will continue fostering good working relationships with the Zanu-PF-led Government.
“We want the President to know that we are firmly behind his leadership, but if there exists bitterness on one side because war veterans are being looked down upon, it’s not good.
“It’s due to the poverty that is stalking war veterans, but, we are saying there should not be any mistrust and animosity between us and Zanu-PF as we went to war to put them into office,” he said.
Cde Muoni urged the ruling party to reserve some Zanu-PF provincial executive posts for the former guerilla fighters.