Published On: Wed, Jan 11th, 2017

Chaos as Mugabe fails to pay school fees for war vets children

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Simon Munyoro

President Robert Mugabe’s cash strapped government is in a dilemma after failing to pay school fees for the children of war veterans in development that is likely to see pressure mounting on the 92 year old leader to leave office.

The development which has seen most of the war vets children being asked to go back home by various learning institutions has triggered despair within the war veterans arm which for years has facilitated Mugabe’s overstay in power through systematic intimidation of voters within the communities.

Minster of War veterans and War Collaborators, Tshinga Dube had to engage the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Lazarus Dokora, the Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Sydney Sekeramayi and Acting Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Makhosini Hlongwane to order their respective institutions to stop turning away the children from schools and withholding their results.

The engagement has resulted in the ministers producing a joint statement warning all learning institutions heads against sending back the war vets children.

However the existing challenge is that the War veterans Minister could not give a specific timeframe to offset the debt which now stands at US$35 million.

“I run a welfare ministry and we rely on information availed by the treasury. This debt has been swelling over the years and each time we contact treasury all they tell us is that we have allocated money but this money never comes which makes it difficult to give a timeframe,” he said.

Dube said there was urgent need to protect the 22 855 children who are beneficiaries of the fund with each getting an allocation of US$700 each.

Meanwhile war veterans have been urged to understand the predicament government finds itself in and assist by bearing the parental burden of feeding their children where this not catered for by educational institutions on the understanding that they will be reimbursed once treasury has made the payments.

However war vets who spoke to Report Focus rubbished Tshinga’s claims hinting that the move was meant to punish them.

“Utter nonsense we know that Mugabe is fixing us for coming out in the open to informing  him to step down and hand over the country,” said one war veteran who preferred confidentiality.