Broad-based empowerment for war vets Zanu PF First Secretary President Mnangagwa and Second Secretaries Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and Vice President Kembo Mohadi pose for a group photograph with former liberation fighters, who include Secretary for War Veterans Cde Douglas Mahiya (fourth from right), at the first War Veterans League National Assembly at the party headquarters in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Kudakwashe Hunda

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter

THE Government is committed to facilitating broad-based empowerment projects for war veterans and help them to access social services as it values their integrity and that of the general citizenry, President Mnangagwa has said.

He challenged Government ministries, departments and agencies to provide adequate technical advice to ensure war veterans take advantage of the opportunities the Second Republic was offering to the people.

The President said this yesterday while addressing the first National Assembly of the Zanu PF War Veterans, Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees held at the party’s national headquarters in Harare.

“I, therefore, expect to receive comprehensive proposals of programmes to be rolled out by the (War Veterans) League. In this regard, my administration is ready to facilitate the broad-based empowerment of your membership so that you fully participate in the economy, as well as the ongoing industrialisation, modernisation and national development agenda,” he said.

“I direct the Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs, which I deliberately established, and the War Veterans Board, to quicken the implementation of interventions towards addressing the challenges affecting this special constituency.

“As the lead ministry and institutions administering key legislative functions about war veterans of the liberation struggle, you must be innovative, work harder and make strategic decisions to cater for the welfare and concerns of our veterans.”

President Mnangagwa said under the Zanu PF Government, the dignity of veterans of the liberation struggle and that of the general citizenry is of utmost importance, as the country moves towards the attainment of Vision 2030.

The Government, he said, remained committed to facilitating access to quality social services in the form of education, pensions, specialised medical facilities, comprehensive medical policy scheme, post-war counselling and related assistance, among other critical aspects.

“The continued review of policies to improve these initiatives is being appropriately considered.”

The President said the War Veterans Family Trust must be pursued with greater focus, as it was one of the anchor projects designed to provide collateral security, for the successful implementation of projects for the benefit of war veterans.

To complement and support the initiatives, ministries, departments and agencies are required to provide adequate technical advice and facilitate the war veterans to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Second Republic.

“These include in sectors such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism, among others.”

The President said it was commendable that an array of programmes and activities had been lined up by the war veterans leadership.

He added that peace, unity, discipline, patriotism, loyalty, perseverance and respect, as well as persistence remain Zanu PF’s cardinal principles.

“I challenge war veterans to remain aware that our yester-year revolutionary unity is the glue that must continue to bind us together. Cadre-ship growth and raising the political consciousness in the rank and file of the party is of paramount importance.

“You must, therefore, develop and implement a robust programme towards the speedy restructuring and re-organisation of the War Veterans League from the cell/village, branch, districts and province, right up to the national level.

“Our deeply entrenched internal constitutional democratic processes must be followed to the letter. Zanu PF is the only revolutionary party with a DNA that strictly adheres to its founding policies, procedures, regulations and the sanctity of the constitution. We as the war veterans must always toe the correct line of the party,” said President Mnangagwa.

He warned against any counter revolutionary manoeuvres of whatever nature, to derail the party, and directed the Commissariat and other relevant departments to support all party efforts, including those of the war veterans, to ensure that the grassroots structures of the party are properly and honestly structured.

“Musangano wakasimba kuma-Cell/iZanu PF iqine kuma Cell.”

President Mnangagwa said he was concerned about issues that continue to negatively affect war veterans, their children and widows.

“The isolated cases which relate to the withdrawal of offer letters and permits, thereby grossly disadvantaging widows and children of war veterans of the liberation struggle must be stopped.

“Those in the public service who have such tendencies should be exposed and face the full wrath of the law,” he said.

The President implored the parent ministry to intensify the ongoing programme of identification, exhumation and decent burial of veterans of the liberation struggle within and outside the country’s borders, saying affected families must find closure.

All expenses for exhumations and reburials must be borne by the Government, said President Mnangagwa.

He commended war veterans for playing an integral role in mobilising support for Zanu PF, which saw the revolutionary party delivering a resounding victory in the August 2023 harmonised elections.

“I am enthused that, as the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle, you continue to demonstrate leadership, and commitment to play your part in the party processes and programmes.

“You have a weighty responsibility to guide and participate in the successful implementation of our party resolutions and policies. Our duty remains anchored on serving the masses and our people towards more prosperous lives.

“To this end, our membership and structures of the Veterans League must always be kept active, well oiled, galvanised and updated on the various projects and programmes of the party,” President Mnangagwa said.

It was unfortunate, he said, that the country continues to lose veterans of the liberation struggle across provinces and districts.

The National Assembly was running under the theme, “Force of the past, power of the present and inspiration of the future”, which the President said evoked memories of the country’s painful and protracted liberation struggle.

Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa has conveyed condolences to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatolla Khomeini, following the tragic death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, saying Zimbabwe had lost a true and dependable ally, who rejected the hegemonic and imperial tendencies of Harare’s detractors.

“Zimbabwe will always cherish the historic State visit by the late President, His Excellency Raisi, last year in July.

“This saw our two countries broadening our co-operation and deepening our long-standing excellent bilateral relations. May his dear departed soul rest in eternal peace,” said President Mnangagwa.

The event was attended by the two Vice Presidents, Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, Defence Minister and Zanu PF national chairman Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Zanu PF Secretary General Dr Obert Mpofu, Minister of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs Monica Mavhunga, Politburo members and senior party and Government officials.

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