Army sends officers on forced leave

via Army sends officers on forced leave – The Zimbabwe Independent July 4, 2014 by Elias Mambo

THE Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) is forcing its members countrywide to go on two weeks’ leave every month to reduce spending on, among others, food and utility bills at barracks, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

Army sources said the officers are being sent on forced leave as the cash-strapped government devices more ways of cutting down on expenditure in most government departments in the face of dwindling revenue inflows to Treasury, as the country’s economic malaise persists.

This comes as government has already asked soldiers to look for alternative accommodation to reduce the number of personnel staying in barracks.

“Since January we have been taking two weeks’ off duty and we were told by our superiors government is trying to cut expenses,” said a junior officer based at the Battlefield (BF) army base near Kwekwe who requested anonymity.

“We have also had to seek alternative accommodation because each time we are off duty we should be out of the barracks as well,” he said.

The sources said the government’s cash squeeze has also stalled the army’s construction projects, which include the Dzivaresekwa housing project, the 5:2 Infantry Battalion housing project, the Zimbabwe Military Academy project, the rehabilitation of the sewer system at 42 Infantry Battalion and the construction of flats and a diagnostic laboratory at the Air Force’s Fylde Air Base.

They said most of last year, canteens at barracks were serving simple meals like sadza and beef, sadza and cabbage or beans because the army was unable to buy better foodstuffs which it provided in the past including starters and desserts.

In early April, a parliamentary report on defence and home affairs painted a gloomy picture of the financial position of Zimbabwe’s defence forces.

The report stated that some soldiers have not been able to access healthcare because of the army’s debts. The report also stated that Zimbabwe’s security forces were failing to fulfil all their functions because of a lack of funds.

In 2008, President Robert Mugabe faced threats of unrest from the military at the height of the country’s economic meltdown and hyperinflation when disgruntled soldiers rioted in Harare after frustration over queuing up to withdraw worthless Zimdollars from banks.

However, in an interview on Wednesday, Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) public relations director lieutenant colonel Overson Mugwisi denied that soldiers were being sent on forced leave.

“I am not aware of any cases of that nature. Of course we have problems here and there like everyone else, but no one is being forced to go on leave,” Mugwisi said.

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32 comments on “Army sends officers on forced leave
  1. nyoni says:

    This useless government has no clue whatsoever. Cut the government numbers, sack all non performing people and last but not least pension off all those old toppies namely Bob, Grace, Mujuru the hippo and the gang .

  2. Madlinduna says:

    Demoralised barracks,luckly there cant be any aggression right now to a looted country.

  3. andy says:

    It has been said before on this site, once they can’t pay the police can’t pay or even feed the army zanu will collapse. Be patient it is coming

    • DL says:

      Those poor soldiers, having to make do without any starters or desserts! It’s outrageous!

      • Dube says:

        Sorry DL those poor soldiers have tended to support a particular Party. When the Puppeteer tells them to beat up the people they are supposed protect they comply. I have absolutely no sympathy for them.

        • DL says:

          Dube, my comment was meant to be facetious. I totally agree with your point of view. Imagine that these bullies and thugs are complaining that they have to do without starters and sweets? It’s pretty ironic.

      • Zen says:

        The poor dears! However will they cope without their bruschetta and chocolate mousse? It’s an outrage!

        • Wilbert Mukori says:

          @ Zen

          I can confidently say that no bruschetta and chocolate mousse have been served in the rank and file soldier’s mess room for donkey years! What the poor dears will miss is the one decent meal a day; it is two weeks of candle light (no power) dinners of vegetable gruel.

          The poor dears’ greatest fault, same as the rest of us, is their failure to see this coming and demanding change. This Mugabe kleptocracy was doom to fail and fail catastrophically and it has come to pass! The regime used the poor dears as the foot soldiers to impose the system on the nation and they, as the rest us, have been the victims of the catastrophic failure!

      • nhamo says:

        brilliant sarcasam DL

  4. LUCY says:

    The only people who will shed tears for these thugs masquerading as soldiers are their handlers in ZANU-PF. Can’t see how different Joe Blogg’s life will be without these sanctioned Party thugs.

  5. Wilbert Mukori says:

    THE Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) is forcing its members countrywide to go on two weeks’ leave every month to reduce spending on, among others, food and utility bills at barracks, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

    The more this Zanu PF tries to pretend it can somehow ride the storm of the economic meltdown the more it is reminded that it cannot because the storm is only going to get worse until the underlying causes of the storm are address.

    Corruption is one of the underlying causes of the economic meltdown. For years Mugabe has denied corruption was a problem; today the cancer has grown to the size of tennis balls. Mugabe will never do anything about it because corruption is just one of the by-products of his political patronage system used to reward those loyal to him and the party’s cause of retaining political power at all cost. He has been the chief beneficiary of the corruption and looting himself and his recent flouting of his loot has not helped.

    He had a $1 million birthday party, followed by a $5 million wedding for his daughter which took place in his $20 million Blue Roof mansion. A few weeks ago he gave his daughter another be-lated wedding present of Mapfeni Farm in Mazowe complete with a three storey mansion worth millions too. All the other party members have been playing catch-up and Mugabe is powerless to tell them to stop!

    What is of great interest is whether these rank and file soldiers and civil servants whose contin-ued support the regime needs to stay in power understand what is going on here. Do they really understand that the system is unsustainable and is doomed to collapse? If they had known that all along they would not have helped the regime rig the elections.

    Of course when these rank and file soldiers are on the forced leave, they face the same economic hardship as everyone else; little do they know that they are as much the victim of this Zanu PF monster they have help created as the rest of us! The penny will finally drop when the boots they are wearing are worn out!

    • Petal says:

      do you all remember the article when Bob mentioned how much he earned – it was a very small amount that was mentioned??? his not being honest at all

  6. Tafadzwa says:

    Looking at the secure SADC, taking into account Zimbabwe’s size, why do we need a 45000 army size ? Which country has ever threatened to attack Zimbabwe ? The only reason Mugabe needs this huge number of army personnel to harass civilians. What else is the army doing other than interfering in elections

    • Wilbert Mukori says:

      The army does not match on an empty stomach, that is a universal truth. Whilst the top brass in the security have benefited from the years of corruption; the rank and file however have not benefited. The problem is that the rank and file have failed to appreciated realise that the system was doomed to fail.

    • kutongwa nonjazi says:

      Tafadzway dear, it’s for protecting the looters from povo and opposition

  7. Clive Sutherland says:

    Be afraid, when the chips are down Mugabe will allow these soldiers to loot and help themselves to what ever they want, no person or business will be safe, Mugabe will play this hand to the end.

  8. E Makhate says:

    Be very afraid when 40000 armed people are hungry. Do they have bullets? It’s scary. Will this not be like the DRC or Chad at the end. The end is nigh. Kkkkkkkkk.

  9. raphy says:

    They deserve that ,so that they Will Open their eyes not to harass the public on ellection time

  10. psalms 58 says:

    North Korea…..

    the last snaps of a rabid spine are a lot more dangerous then kicks from a dying horse

    • Wilbert Mukori says:

      @ Psalm 58

      Whilst it is clear that Mugabe and Zanu PF have failed to revive the economy what is also clear is that the regime has no intention of giving up power. Mugabe would rather have Zimbabwe dragged to the darkest recesses of hell than for him to give up power.

      Are we going to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and millions of others to a life of hopelessness and despair – the very destiny of the nation – to gratify the insatiable hunger for power and wealth of an egotistic tyrant? That is the question this nation must deal with. And how we deal with it will define the character of this nation for generations to come!

  11. NBS says:

    The whole army should be retired. All they have done is aid and abet Zimbabwe’s suffering. God’s judgment is falling. No money. the whole cow was stolen. What now?

    • Wilbert Mukori says:

      @ NBS

      What is really surprising here is how many ordinary Zimbabweans have aided and abetted Mu-gabe throughout the years. If one can excuse the simple villagers and workers on the grounds that they are simple people and did not understand what was happening. What excuse can one have for the university graduates who too have allowed this circus to go on?

      People like Augustine Chihuri, Joyce Mujuru and Mnangagwa have been at the heart of govern-ment; these are fruitcakes with no brain and therefore would never see that the system has failed. They have enjoyed absolute power for so long they will never want to give it up even if the country was turned into a cesspool!

      Then there are others like Shamuyarira with some grey stuff between their ears who too were at the very heart of government and help Mugabe build this tyrannical regime. He died a pauper and therefore it cannot be said he did not see that the system was doomed, he experienced the grinding poverty first hand. Why did he do nothing to stop this madness?

    • nhamo says:

      NBS I Second your idea well said

  12. MikeH says:

    Good news !!! An unfed army is ripe for rebellion.

    • Wilbert Mukori says:

      @ Mike H

      I think the rank and file Soldiers, Police, CIO and civil servants ho have played the part in keeping this regime in power have been “ripe for rebellion” for donkey years. They have continued down this disastrous path because the opposition have failed to explain to those how they are being used to perpetuate their own suffering and misery.

      These are simple people who were easily sold to the idea that regime change is not good for the country, for example. It was beholden to a competent opposition to explain to them than the root cause of the country’s economic decline was because the people could not hold those in power to account and free and being able to removed failed leaders is the ultimate expression of that accountability! Having free and fair elections was in everybody’s interest in that it was the only way to end the corruption and oppression.

      Sadly the country did not have a competent opposition but a corrupt and incompetent one. MDC did not offer the people anything different from Zanu PF. The ordinary people were expected to help prop up MDC just as they were propping up Zanu PF. It is not surprising then that they have all propped Zanu PF because they see it as the job regardless of who is in power!

  13. mark longhurst says:

    the armed forces have been complicit in many outrageous human rights abuses at the end of the Zanu /Muagbe chain..both internally and in other countries, hopefully they go home and repent.

    • Wilbert Mukori says:

      @ Mark Longhurst

      The top brass, yes have been complacent in the human rights abuse and have been rewarded, at least for a while. The economic meltdown is now so bad that even the top brass are feeling its adverse effect.

      look at Augustine Chihuri, he attended a pass out parade of Police Trainees; it was them who witnessed him passing out! His shoe were so tight no one can stand up in dead feet! Money is so tight that even the Police Commissioner can afford new shoe!

      The rank and file have done the dirty work and are as much the victims of the failed system as the rest of us.

  14. Realist says:

    Just wodering what the big deal with starters and desserts…. Situation is tough yes but you can not say sadza and beef is a siimple meal in Zim, lets put things into context please

  15. Realist says:

    Just wodering whats the big deal with starters and desserts…. Situation is tough yes but you can not say sadza and beef is a siimple meal in Zim, lets put things into context please

  16. maita says:

    The little boys in the army suffer as the chefs live large, but they are the people who are used to abuse people.

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