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War vets children drop out of school

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Former Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) war veterans have expressed concern at delays by the government to release money for their children’s school fees.

STAFF REPORTER

Simeon Ncube, an ex-Zipra member representing former fighters from Umguza in Matabeleland North, told Southern Eye that some ex-Zipra members in the province were struggling to pay fees, adding that most of their children had stopped going to school.

“More than 50 ex-Zipra members in the province have told me that they have a problem in paying their children’s school fees,” he said.

“We were made to submit applications for funds under the war veterans’ welfare scheme on January 22 and were promised to
receive the money in a week’s time, but nothing has come
almost five months after we applied.

“As we speak most of the ex-Zipra fighters’ children in the province are not going to school because they have not paid fees,” he said.

“It is unfair that the government would neglect us like that, but at some point politicians call us for violent campaigns during elections.”

Ncube said he was paying $500 a term at Matshinge High School.
“Just imagine how many cattle I can dispose of every term for fees alone!” he said.

Zipra Veterans Trust chairman Buster Willy Magwizi yesterday confirmed receiving complaints from members across the country about the non-payment of school fees allowances.

“Yes, reports have come that our members have not received the money since January,” he said.

“Quite a large number of people have been affected by this problem.
“We were told that the government staggers payments according to Budgets.”

Widows of war veterans who applied under the same scheme, are said to be in a similar predicament.

The war veterans’ department falls under the Defence ministry. Efforts to get comment from Defence minister Emmerson
Mnangagwa were fruitless yesterday.

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