Of promises and lies – NewsDay

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is literally launching a charm offensive in a bid to woo war veterans, promising to look after the welfare of former freedom fighters.

Addressing the National Assembly of War Veterans on Wednesday, Mnangagwa promised his constituents heaven on earth at a time when the government is accused of abandoning former freedom fighters as most of them struggle to survive. .

“My administration is willing to facilitate the broad empowerment of its members to fully participate in the economy as well as the ongoing industrialization and modernization of our homeland. “I direct the Minister (of Liberation Struggle Veterans Affairs) (Monica Mavhunga) to expedite the implementation of interventions to address the challenges affecting this special constituency,” Mnangagwa said.

There is mistrust between the government and war veterans.

Veterans of the liberation war of the 1970s believe they are receiving crumbs at a time when their colleagues in government ministries, departments and agencies are living large, becoming an island of plenty in a sea of ​​poverty.

They believe that the ruling Zanu PF party only turns to voters when it wants to mobilize votes before the elections.

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Promises to improve your well-being have been made before. However, they turned out to be lies.

The constituency was abandoned in the first republic until late former president Robert Mugabe’s National Heroes Day speech was interrupted for attention.

This forced the government to pay each war veteran a lump sum of 50,000 ZWL dollars (equivalent to 4,000 US dollars at the time). The payment of the extraordinary profit, which was not budgeted, is blamed for driving the sharp depreciation of the local currency on that Black Friday in November 1997.

The war veterans body is a key constituency for Zanu PF. It makes or breaks a leader.

They were the driving force behind the accelerated land reform program at the turn of the millennium, a key pillar of Zanu PF’s economic empowerment campaign.

The land reform exercise resonates well with the electorate amid business closures and unemployment.

However, the constituency seems abandoned.

The war veterans were at odds with former Liberation Struggle Veterans Affairs Minister Chris Mutsvangwa, accusing him of ignoring their concerns.

They celebrated when Mutsvangwa was fired.

The poor performance of the economy has left citizens, including war veterans, on the brink.

As the economy goes off course and poverty levels rise, it’s a reminder to war veterans that the ship is off course.

They fought for equality and freedom of assembly and expression. They fought for a society free of corruption.

It is evident that the economic pie is distributed unevenly, as evidenced by the growing gap between rich and poor.

They wince as an anti-corruption blitz targets the small fish, leaving the heavyweights off the hook.

Land, one of the key factors of production, is in the hands of a few.

There are cases of so-called chefs owning more than one farm confiscated during the land reform program, against the one-man policy.

For war veterans, Mnangagwa’s promises on Wednesday echoed what they had heard over the years: promises and more promises, but no implementation.

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