Mashonaland East Correspondent
MARONDERA: War veterans here have demanded that the town council allocates them residential and business stands in appreciation for the role they played in liberating the country.
Marondera town clerk, Josiah Musuwo, said the former freedom fighters had also asked to be exempted from paying vehicle parking charges, and rates.
In addition, they also want to be conferred with the Freedom of the Town status.
“The war veterans brought to our attention the need for council to exempt them from paying rates,” Masuwo told a full council meeting last week.
“They also want to be allocated a 20% share of land at Elmswood Farm and a 20% share of the business stands that we have.
“They also asked to be conferred with the Freedom of the Town status and be allowed to access free parking for their vehicles in the central business district without the risk of being clamped by council workers.”
Council forwarded the demands to the ministries of defence and local government for guidance and the two ministries gave a green light for the town to oblige the veterans.
“We are an agent of government and we are obliged to see to it that we assist the war veterans as and when the need arises,” said Masuwo.
“There are issues that need us to seek guidance from the government, but there are other issues where we can use our discretion.
“We will give them parking discs so that they will be exempted from paying parking charges.”
Back in 1997, all war veterans were awarded by the government $50,000 each as package for the role they played in fighting for the liberation of the country, which attained independence in 1980.
Most of the former struggle fighters are also beneficiaries of the controversial land reform programme in addition to accessing a pension and support with school fees for their families.