tendai biti finance minister 2 29-08-10.jpgFinance Minister Tendai Biti has swallowed his pride and finally met war veterans’ representatives at his offices and undertook to pay them school fees arrears owed by the government.

Having earlier declared that if the war veterans want war, he would give it to them, Mr. Biti made a climb down and finally agreed to meet the liberation fighters.

Mr. Biti conceded to the war veterans’ demands after the meeting.

The war veterans expressed satisfaction at Mr. Biti’s commitments that he will pay the outstanding arrears for school fees of the children of war veterans within two days.

They said the finance minister also promised to pay next term school fees within a seven day period after schools open.

However the war veterans expressed disappointment that the Finance Minister is yet to address their grievances fully which include their medication and their monthly pensions which they want raised from US$116 a month to more than US$200.

The war veterans are also furious with Mr Biti, the architect of the sanctions for not calling for their lifting.

Meanwhile, Mr. Biti remains adamant that there is no money even after indications that enough revenue has been generated from the sale of the country’s diamonds.

Last week, Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu revealed that Treasury had indeed received US$167 million from diamond sales.

The following day Minister Biti remained defiant that there was no money to cover for civil servants’ salaries.

The war veterans are angry that the Finance Minister is defying Cde Mugabe who gave the directive that civil servants should be paid from the proceeds of the diamond sales.