Government has put in place systems to operationalise the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Fund investment vehicles that are expected to generate inflows to cater for the welfare of war veterans and reduce pressure on the fiscus.
Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri yesterday named a nine-member board of directors for the Veterans Investment Corporation, which will manage and hold assets in various sectors through its five subsidiaries.
President Mnangagwa launched the investment vehicles in June this year, with the view to generate income into the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Fund and execute investments on behalf of the veterans.
The new board is comprised of Mr Clive Mphambela, who represents the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mr John Mafararikwa representing the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, as well as Mr Timothy Njekete. Other members of the board include Ms Chiratidzo Mabuwa, Ms Emily Rusere, Ms Cecilia Dubiwa, Group Captain (Retired) Joyce Murozvi, Mr Jabulani Mbetu and Mr Sobhuku Dube.
All appointees, besides Mr Mphambela are war veterans and hold professional qualifications and skills required to manage the board and its subsidiaries. Speaking during the inauguration of the new board, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said it was important to consider how war veterans could benefit in the value chain creation and beneficiation processes that the vehicles would create.
“Examples are franchising, outgrower schemes, contract farming and awarding of general contracts,” she said.
“The initiatives will ensure immediate benefits to the veterans without waiting for those accruing from dividends.
“You should proceed to immediately unlock value of the assets owned by the subsidiaries. The veterans of the liberation struggle are anxiously waiting, with high expectations for enhanced welfare benefits and economic empowerment opportunities to be created by these investment vehicles.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said Treasury resources were limited and thus could not adequately meet all the demands placed on the fiscus. The Veterans Investment Corporation and its subsidiaries are 100 percent owned by the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Fund, which is administered by the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Board.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the appointment of the board had coincided with the first year of the implementation of the National Development Strategy 1, whose thrust is anchored on a transformative and inclusive agenda.
“It is critical for veterans of the liberation struggle to play a key role both as actors and beneficiaries in the development trajectory,” she said.
“To this end, your activities should be informed by and feed into the milestones of the NDS1.”
Secretary of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Board Cde Douglas Mahiya said the creation of the investment vehicles would add impetus on the efforts by Government to make sure that veterans of the liberation struggle participated in the mainstream economy.
“In the meantime, identify low hanging fruits in the portfolio of assets and exploit those that can deliver quick gains to generate a lot of support from the war veterans,” he said
Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Board chairman Major-General (Rtd) Gibson Mashingaidze said war veterans should not be apologetic when it comes to their welfare and should embrace the opportunity to be a part of the country’s economic development.
“Most of us are in the twilight of our careers while some have retired, but we have been given a second chance to be part of the economic development agenda,” he said.
“We should make sure that the company and its subsidiaries outlive our current generation. These companies should be able to leave a mark on the Zimbabwean economy and we can only do so by creating lasting systems of corporate governance and employ qualified and skilled executive management and staff.”
Speaking on behalf of the new board, Group Captain (Rtd) Murozvi promised to deliver on the mandate given to them to ensure a safe and prosperous future for war veterans and their families.