Harare (Mlondolozi Ndlovu) – The country’s primary, secondary and tertiary institutions have been ordered to accept the children of the country’s war fighters even if they do not pay a single cent as the government is struggling with fees payment, senior government officials have said.
President Mugabe’s government has on several times promised that it will honour its obligation to take care of the welfare of the liberation fighters but to date nothing meaningful has been done to ameliorate the welfare of war veterans.
The country is estimated to have over 35000 ordinary war veterans excluding the war collaborators who numbers are believed to be double the number of war veterans, but the Mugabe government has largely failed to carter for their welfare.
With schools opening on Tuesday most war veterans are struggling to pay for their children’s school fees but the government has announced that these should be allowed free entry at schools.
Speaking at a joint press conference in Harare on Wednesday the Minister responsible for the welfare of war veterans, Tshinga Dube announced that schools should allow the children of the fighters to learn without full fees.
“Pending the release of those funds by Treasury, heads of Primary, Secondary and tertiary institutions and indeed vice chancellors of our universities are strongly requested not to turn away students whose fees have not been paid,” said Dube.
Dube highlighted that despite the challenges, the cash strapped government was prepared to meet its duties of taking care of the former war fighters.
“Government is committed to discharging its constitutional duty of paying fees for the children of war veterans. Treasury has already allocated funds to meet government’s constitutional obligation. The two ministries of education have been requested to convey this appeal to the heads of institutions that fall within their purview,” he added.
The minister however requested for patience among the parents saying different Ministers were in consultation with a view to solve this crisis.
“Meanwhile parents of pupils and students are being requested to understand the predicament government finds itself in, and to assist by bearing the parental burden of feeding their children where this is not cartered for by the educational institutions, on the understanding that they will be reimbursed once Treasury has made the payments.
“Ministers involved in this issue have been having consultation with a view to agreeing on a solution to this vexing matter. These are, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Honourable Dr. Lazarus Dokora, the Minister of War Veterans, War collaborators Rtd Col Tshinga Dube, Acting Minsiter of Finance an Economic Development Dr Sydney Sekeramayi and Acting Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Honourable Makhosini Hlongwane,” noted Tshinga.