War Vets Stage Demo Over Bonus Delays

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By Clayton Shereni, Masvingo Correspondent

THERE was commotion at the Peoples Own Savings Bank (POSB) in Masvingo Thursday when war veterans and government pensioners staged a demonstration over delays to pay them their 13th cheque in hard currency.

Some war veterans and pensioners have been sleeping on pavements for the past three nights waiting for their bonuses while they spend the whole day in long winding queues.

The pensioners were irked after POSB employee in Masvingo told them they will have to convert their bonuses to local currency despite the government assuring them they will receive their money is US dollars.

One of the pensioners collapsed waiting to collect her bonus and an ambulance was called to rush her to the hospital.

Speaking to, Muchaneta Chimhere said she was forced to sleep outside the banking hall Wednesday night after she failed to get her money.

“I had no option but to sleep here because they didn’t manage to serve us and my grandchildren are alone in the rural areas. When I came here, I never expected that it’s going to be this tough to get what my husband worked for so many years,” she said.

Some pensioners said the bank officials were frustrating them and were serving them at a snail’s pace with few tellers attending to them.

However, POSB Masvingo branch manager Fungai Paguti, professed ignorance over the incidences adding the bank will proceed to make payments in hard currency.

“I didn’t see that when it happened, but I was outside at some point. We are going to give them their money in US dollars,” Paguti said.

Deputy Public Service Minister Lovemore Matuke told that the government official position regarding the payments had been communicated to the pensioners, but promised to look into the matter.

“I will have to check because as of now I don’t have any update from Masvingo. Everything was communicated to them about how they will get their money, but we have to verify first what is on the ground,” Matuke said.