LIVE: Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa meets War Vets

Mnangagwa leaves for United Nations

1412: Next is Mat North – Cde Sonie Mguni – requests that war vets be exempted from land rates. 500 war vets face eviction in Mat North – implores ED to save them. Requests allocation of vehicles for operations as they are party of Zanu PF. War collaborators feel they are only known when its election time, outside polls no one recognises them…. they are requesting fresh vetting.

1401: Cde Section Ncube – Mat South – on commissariat, he says the circular stipulating that only those with 5 years in the party shall contest elections was not followed….people with less than 5 years in the party contested. ZIPRA forces had farms after independence they had purchased, but today they do not know where that property is….implores ED to look into this. There are mines in Mat South but got concessions without equipment. On primary elections, he says the playing field was not level because those with money sidelined war veterans. Says G40 remnants must be removed for progress’ sake. He ended by imploring all war veterans to pray for the speedy recovery of Vice President Kembo Mohadi who is not feeling well.

1352: Cde Gift Kagweda Manicaland is now on the podium – war vets seek to benefit from the mining of diamonds at Chiadzwa. On command agric programmes, war vets request a quota or a share specifically for them. War vets want to be involved in the proper reburial of departed war vets.

1341: Next is Masvingo representative – on the recent primary elections, says there is need to explain to the electorate so that the grievance they have are addressed…..”kunema god-fathers kuma province vanoda kutsiurwa, ….vauraya musangano kuma province….varikusarudza vavanoda panguva dzesarudzo…” On health issues, he implored govt to return to traditional ways of curing diseases such as cancer, diabetes and BP….. says these ailments can be treated using traditional medicine but it is govt which must lead the way in asking the people to develop the necessary medicine.

1330: Cde Cornelias Muoni from Mash West is now on the podium – says war vets are fully behind ED. War veterans failed to participate fully in primary elections because of lack of resources, ….”taifamba nemakombi kuno campaigner asi vamwe vedu vachifamba nema Benz nema Prado…, kusvikira zvakunzi vanhu vangade kuvhotera here munhu anebhutsu yakatsveyama…” Says war veterans feel sidelined after having been in the trenches until the new dispensation was ushered in including some of them getting arrested. “When it came to campaigning, we were competing with people who have already benefitted a lot and are monied, while as war vets we have nothing…”. Implores govt to assist war vets to get 99 year leases.

1313: Next is Mashonaland Central – Cde Parirenyatwa – says some of their challenges have been articulated by provinces who spoke before him. Reiterates that war vets seek an upward review of their pensions to above the poverty datum line. He asks leadership to compare war veterans pensions from those of the region. Seeks exemption from parking fees in urban areas. On party issues, he says G40 is still in charge….claims the current chairpersons in provinces were put there by former NPC Saviour Kasukuwere. Suggests for ZEXCOM commission of inquiry. Says primary elections are “attempted primary elections”….says cell registers were manipulated and most Zanu PF supporters did not vote. War vets reiterate their support for ED….. Ends by saying “tibvisireiwo zvigananda zvazara mubato redu”.

1302: Next is Cde Daniel Sigauke – Mashonaland East – implores govt to pay school fees on time so that their children do not feel embarrassed at school. Says war vets continue to be sidelined in party programmes. War veterans have very strong reservations on the way the recent primary elections were conducted- says the the poll was highly flawed.

1254: Next Harare province representative Cde Masireya –says they concur that ED is the Zanu PF presidential candidate. On welfare, he says the standard of living of war veterans has deteriorated, says the pension of $206 per month is below the poverty datum line, calls on govt to review the pension. Says war veterans have no land, those who had it, their farms were repossessed. war veterans seek exemption on import duty for vehicles. They also seek exemption on payment of toll-gates. They want appointments into key positions in govt. Lament lack of funding for projects. On party elections, war vets are failing to compete with other party members because they lack funding.

1246: Cde Ncube tells President ED that war veterans are not happy with the way Zanu PF primary elections were conducted, saying most of them were sidelined, those who are monied sidelined them. Says some of the candidates who won the Zanu PF primary elections are criminals, but nonetheless, as war veterans they will support them for the party to win.

1244: Cde Ncube says the war veterans’ land is being taken away by land barons, or by those with money. War veterans request their quota when agric inputs are being distributed.

1238: Cde Cephas Ncube from Bulawayo province is the first to speak. He speaks about the paltry pensions that war vets are getting or leaving for their spouses upon death. Says war veterans dying because of lack of medication.

1237: MC implores chairpersons to now present their resolutions or challenges from the provinces

1236: VP Chiwenga opens the meeting to plenary sessions where provinces will make presentations, each represented by their chairpersons

1233: The VP says a company established to empower war veterans. A chicken rearing project for war veterans has been rolled out in Manicaland and will be spread to all provinces. War veterans encouraged to enter into agriculture, while those with A2 farms to acquire 99 year leases so as to be able acquire inputs using it as collateral.

1230: VP Chiwenga says war veterans are owed school fees for their children amounting to US$10,5 million dating back to 2016 – the ministry engaging treasury to ensure these arrears are paid at the shortest possible time. Funeral bills amounting to US$1 million will be also be settled as soon as possible.

1226: VP Chiwenga says war veterans are a body politic critical to the survival of the ruling party and the nation at large. Thanks the war vets for coming to meeting the President at short notice. “Zimbabwe haimbofa yakadzokera kuzvimbwasungata zvakare”.

1221: Cde Matemadanda now introducing Vice President Retired General Constantino Chiwenga to give his remarks.

1211: Entertainment from police band. War veterans take to the dance floor.

1208: Cde Matemadanda implores all war veterans to go out and campaign for President Mnangagwa, the Zanu PF presidential candidate for the 2018 harmonised elections. He ends his address.

1205: Cde Matemadanda said “the voice of the war veterans is the voice of the revolution”. Says they have been patiently waiting for leadership positions even a Councillor’s position, for example.

1204: Blasts those who say war veterans are not disciplined, saying they are a highly disciplined lot.

1201: Cde Matemadanda says he is happy that this meeting with President ED has come to fruition. Says this meeting is different from all the previous meetings….”nhasi chinongove chisoja chete kubva kumusoro….,” he says.

1157: Cde Victor Matemadanda on the podium now to give his remarks as Secretary for War Veterans in the Zanu PF Politburo and also Secretary General of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association.

1154: The MC now introducing war veterans, province by province

1144: Prayer from Chaplain-General of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Colonel Joseph Nyakudya.

1141: MC Cde Munyaradzi Machacha signals for the National Anthem by Police Band.

1139: President Emmerson Mnangagwa arrives at the City Sports Centre.

1138: President Emmerson Mnangagwa is meeting war veterans today in Harare to discuss welfare issues and how to strengthen Zanu-PF ahead of harmonised elections this year.