Despite the cash crunch in Zimbabwe, the Zim War Veterans are demanding $500,000 each– an amount that could totally destroy the economy.
This arose as a result of the ongoing factional disputes in the ruling ZANU-PF.
With registered veterans in Zimbabwe being up to 34,000, the sum total of the amount being requested is five times more than the country’s budget of $3.6 billion.
The southern African country is barely able to pay its civil servants their salaries, let alone dispense the total of about $17 billion dollars to the association of war veterans.
Zim war veterans are not only requesting for an outrageous sum, they also want the Zimbabwean government to supply them with diplomatic passports that would free them from meticulous checks at the borders.
The defence minister, Dr Sydney Skeramayi, was unable to make promises to the war vets, stating that he has to consult President Mugabe before making any comment.
“On the money issue raised by Marashwa, I need to go and consult before we commit ourselves, but for now we are working flat out to see that the monthly payments are done timeously,” Sekeramayi responded.
The request is supposedly based on promises made by President Mugabe on two accounts to give some money to the war vets. The first according to ZNLWVA spokesperson Douglas Mahiya was back in 1980 and again in 1997. Mahiya, who added that he was on the Hunzvi negotiating team, said the President had indeed promised them 500,000 Zimbabwean dollars and 50,000 Zimbabwean dollars on both times respectively.
“I don’t know about the figure today in United States dollars, but I can confirm because I was part of the negotiating team with Marashwa when the President said the government had no money at that time since they were going to give us Z$50 000, but promised to give us the money (ZW$500 000) later and up to now we are still waiting,” Mahiya said, accusing President Mugabe of going back on his words.