We are deeply saddened and affected by the misunderstanding that took place at Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube ‘s office yesterday.
This was as a result of the gallant sons and daughters of this land who are now senior citizens effort to enquire and raise their complaints for the government to increase their current monthly pension which is about zw$16000.
It is evident to any Zimbabwean that this paltry amount is insufficient to cater for a decent livelihood for any Zimbabwean under the prevailing economic environment.
Gagging war veterans is inconsiderate as they made a sacrifice for the free Zimbabwe that we now all dwell in and their grievances should be a serious point of concern of the Government of Zimbabwe. One of the war veterans reported that they were not demonstrating but rather were adhering to Covid 19 regulations as they were waiting for the Minister to bring back a response to them.
There is no way a senior citizen above 60 would incite violence when they have serious bread and butter issues to attend to.
These war veterans were sincerely seeking the Finance Ministers audience and it is their right to do so. They were blocked from seeing him whilst waiting for their response.
Ministers are public officials who should be accessible by all those with grievances pertaining to any issue of concern in the relevant ministry.
As LEAD we feel that there was a gross misunderstanding and overeaction to which the war veterans must be pardoned and at least be given a chance to be heard.
That is the democratic country that we know which should give citizens a chance to be heard and express themselves.
It is embarrassing that a while Police spokesperson denies that War Veterans were arrested yesterday yet there is picture evidence to the unlawful arrest of peaceful, law abiding citizens. We implore the government of Zimbabwe to wear a human face and seriously consider the plight of war veterans and all pensioners in Zimbabwe who are getting peanuts every Monthend.
Pensioners in Zimbabwe are now living in abject poverty yet they contributed for their social security whilst they were still employed.
Pensioners deserve decent livelihoods and the Ministry of Public Service, NSSA and all Pension funds should seriously consider reviewing the pension payouts they are giving pensioners to decent amounts that can sustain livelihoods.
LEAD remains committed to ensuring that all senior citizens live a life free of fear, want, hunger and poverty.
LEAD Presidential Spokesperson
+263 78 376 4003