As Zimbabwe National Army recruitment gets underway, government has been reminded to give precedence to pressing issues affecting the country instead of wasting resources beefing up security forces when there is no threat of war.
Zimbabwe National Students Union, an umbrella body representing students in tertiary institutions blasted the government saying they should stop the recruitment process, address hunger and poverty as well as save people’s lives by securing drug shortages in hospitals.
“As Zimbabwe National Students Union, we unequivocally and unambiguously warn the government led by President Robert Mugabe to stop, forthwith, the recruitment of 1000 members for ZNA for Zimbabwe is neither in a war nor threat of one. The threat of hunger, deprivation, poverty, destitution and risk of diseases is not visible but evident and conspicuous.
“This is crystal clear when Zimbabwe gets to be ranked at 156 out of 187 on the 2014 UNDP Human Development Index. Currently 72% of the entire population live below the poverty datum line (living on less than US 1.25 per day), 30% of the rural poor are considered to be “food poor” or extremely poor or deprived. Food and nutrition security remain fragile, Hospitals are being shut everyday because of severe shortages of drugs due to under funding of the health sector,” said ZINASU Spokesperson, Treasure Basopo in a statement posted on the union’s Facebook Page.
He added, “Students from the four corners of the corner-less teapot shaped land are engaging in horizontal gymnastics, thigh vending and some have permanently transmogrified themselves into reputable harlots, thanks to Jonathan Moyo who has substituted grants for bicycles. This is a perfect case of the misplacement of priorities we have always mentioned as ZINASU.”
Meanwhile, the country’s main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change, (MDC-T) also issued denounced the move saying this could be deliberate plan to build Zanu PF war arsenal ahead of the 2018 elections.
“As a peace – loving social democratic political party, the MDC is also alarmed by the fact that the ongoing massive army recruitment exercise is deliberately targeted at building the Zanu PF regime’s “war arsenal” in preparation for the 2018 harmonized elections. The war – mongering and paranoid Zanu PF regime has never hesitated to unleash its security apparatus on unarmed Zimbabweans each time that the regime is faced with an impending humiliating electoral loss.
“This is precisely what happened during the farcical Presidential election run – off in June 2008 when armed soldiers and other security operatives were unleashed in urban and rural areas and in the process orchestrating an unprecedented orgy of violence and thuggery against peace – loving civilians,” said Obert Gutu, MDC-T spokesperson.