Friday, March 25, 2011

(TALKZIMBABWE) Biti buckles under pressure from war vets

Biti buckles under pressure from war vets
By: Ralph Mutema
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 4:19 am

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti yesterday buckled under pressure from Zimbabwe's War Veterans who demanded payment of their children's school fees. Biti had dodged the veterans for two days, but finally agreed to meet them as it became clear they were not going to give up.

The minister finally met the war veterans' representatives at his offices and undertook to pay school fees arrears that Government owes them. The war veterans first tried to meet him on Monday and then on Wednesday without success.

The wa veterans also wanted Biti to clarify statements he made to private media saying "If Zanu-PF wants war, we will give them war".

Yesterday war veterans expressed satisfaction with Minister Biti's commitment to pay outstanding arrears for their children's school fees within two days.

They said the Finance Minister also promised to pay next term school fees within seven days of opening.

However, they said Minister Biti did not make any commitment to improve civil servants salaries.

They said the minister had also not undertaken to pay their healthcare dues and to raise their monthly pensions from US$116 to at least US$200.

The war veterans are also furious that Minister Biti - who was exposed as a key figure in structuring illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe - had done nothing to call for the end to the widely-discredited embargo as required of him and his MDC-T party in the Global Political Agreement.

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