Zimbabwe’s army and police broke

via Zim’s army, police broke ! Mail & Guardian by Kudzai Mashiningwa 07 FEB 2014

The security forces in Zimbabwe cannot fulfil all their functions because of a lack of money, a report says.

A parliamentary report on defence and home affairs paints a gloomy picture of the precarious financial position of Zimbabwe’s defence forces.

Soldiers have not been able to access healthcare because of the army not paying its debts.

The police, too, are battling to settle debts amounting to nearly $145-million to service providers, which has resulted in some services being withdrawn, according to the report.

The report says the ministry of defence was allocated slightly more than $356-million, which amounts to 8.9% of the 2014 national budget.

But despite that, the report says, the army chiefs have dismissed it as grossly inadequate considering the ministry’s needs.

For the 2013-2016 period, the report says, the defence ministry’s seven priority areas are all under threat because of underfunding.

Those areas are the maintenance of existing defence force equipment and facilities, training, re-equipment, refurbishment and upgrading, research and development, defence projects and food security.

“[The] national army has outstanding medical debts, which have resulted in refusal by some private medical service providers to offer their services to ZNA [Zimbabwe National Army] members due to nonpayments,” the report says.

“Your committee also learnt that an average of $50 000 per week is required for medical expenses. The ministry only got $1.75-million out of $2.6-million that was bidded for this item in 2014. This contributed immensely to a decline in health services, which deteriorated very badly as drugs availability ran below critical levels, as evidenced in the previous five years.”

The cash squeeze has also affected the army’s construction projects, including 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.

A demining exercise has also been seriously underfunded, according to the report, and this year it was allocated only $500 000 despite a request for $2-million.

The report says this will result in it failing to meet the 1999 Ottawa Convention deadlines, which require that all anti-personnel mines in the country be destroyed.

Situation barely manageable
The report says the defence ministry is being hamstrung by 12 696 vacancies out of the ministry’s staff approval of 45 944.

The situation in the army is barely manageable, the report says and, had it not been for the humanitarian assistance it gets from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Norwegian People’s Aid and the Halo Trust, a nongovernmental organisation that works in several countries to remove the hazardous debris of war, the situation would have been worse.

The report says the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) owes $144.9-million for utilities and other services such as rents, although the report says that the treasury is to blame in some cases.

“This has resulted in the name of the ministry being compromised as a bad debtor. Treasury sometimes does not fully release allocations to the ministry as per the budget presentation. This has the effect of overstraining the cash-strapped ministry,” the report says.

“The budgetary gaps remain a challenge, especially for ZRP, which has a bid of $201 103 740 for recurrent expenditure and was allocated a paltry budget of $26 576 000 in 2014.”

As part of its recommendations, the parliamentary committee says additional funds must be made available for both the army and the police to perform critical functions.

Police and army chiefs’ complaints
But, there are very few chances that this plea will be entertained by the treasury as the government’s resources are limited.

Both police and army chiefs have complained about the amounts they were allocated in the 2014 national budget, saying their operations would be crippled.

The government’s finances are in a severely limited state following the withdrawal of financial support by Western nations more than a decade ago.

The tax revenue base has also been shrinking as a result of company closures and massive job losses.

But the lack of adequate funding is not unique to the security departments – other arms of government are also feeling the squeeze.



  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    They have deliberately destroyed the economy, alienated the donors and awarded themselves fat salaries and now they’d say their is not enough money. A five year old would get the cause and effect in all of this.

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    Nyoni 8 years ago

    Where is the money from the DRC , THE Diamonds etc. Go to hell ZNA and ask your man Bob to help you. You abusers of my people. You sellouts. You mercenaries etc.

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    Stingray 8 years ago

    These guys are not serious where is the diamond money going? Check the car park at pghq t6ey have the latest mercs , where is the retention money

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    Tjingababili 8 years ago


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    Mlimo 8 years ago

    Just look in Singapore in the banks there – look under the account holders of surnames Mugabe and Mujuru etc. when is the army and police going to stop working for the defunct illegitimate zanupf gravey train government?

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    Dangamvura 8 years ago

    Where are the all-weather Chinese and Russian friends????????????

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    Senzachena 8 years ago

    Wait a couple of months until there is no food in the barracks and no pay in the banks! Then lets see who they support. Be scared ZANU be very scared your time is coming.

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    zimbo 8 years ago

    Borrow from CASHBURG!!

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    Its time these guys borrow the country money

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    With the cars that some of these army and police chiefs have or get every year this report is difficult to believe.

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    Charles Chamunorwa 8 years ago

    Both the army and police have diamond companies and besides the police keep the money from roadblocks and other fines. Where is all this money going to?

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    vanhu vemuzimbwabwe mese murimarabishi you must all get arrested how can someone gets a million $ per month when you claim to be under sanctions . MR Commander in chief lets have Salary controls please.Your economy no one must get salary above $8000 in zimbabwe whether CEO or or any minister.look your civil servents including your educated perm secretary they get $500 less than$1000 thus reasoble amount for that economy. Mr comander in chief musanyegerere munhu wether its e palastatal or municipality dzingai imbwa dzese masalaries ngaaenderane ne economy yenyika yedu. vanhu varikutambura .vanoda mari idzodzo ngavaende ku America vandopiwe mari idzodzo. Munyika yamai Gushungo apa tinoda Kuona simba renyu chairo chairo nekuti apa paita vasveta simba

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    The resurrection of the Zim Dollar is now looming large! I believe the bookies are giving odds of two trillion to one it will be back this month. I guess inflation will raise these odds to 10 trillion to one by next Friday.

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    Bazur Wa KuMuzi you better beleive it. These guys take out and don’t put back in. This being the case the pot will obviuosly get empty. Watch this space….

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    Afterall, when oppressive state organs run out of Taxpayer’s funds to squander, it greatly benefits the Taxpayer.

    For example, if the Taxpayer stops throwing money into the bottomless pit that is labeled police, so called ZRP may transform from a “Force” to a “Service.”

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    Wilbert Mukori 8 years ago

    The Army, Police and CIO have over the years been getting the lion’s share of the national cake. Sadly the national cake has been growing smaller and smaller whilst their appetite has been growing exponentially. The size of the national cake as announce by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa is a lot smaller than $4 billion.

    Still the security sector got the lion’s share, approximately 25%, of the imaginary cake. Whilst everyone else will see their share cut back dramatically for example the Ministry of Higher Education received $50k out of their budget allocation of $385 m last year; less than 0.02%. The security sector will not see such savage cuts of course, still even they will be lucky to get 75% of their allocation given the alarming rate of Zimbabwe’s economic melt-down.

    And yet we are told “both police and army chiefs have complained about the amounts they were allocated in the 2014 national budget, saying their operations would be crippled”! These securocrats have lived in their own cuckoo-land for three decades; they do not realise they will not get all Chinamasa promised them because the nation is broke! It is high time these mongrels who abandoned their duties of maintain law to prop up a murderous dictatorship came to earth and experience the hardship the rest of us have been suffering for decades now!

    It is a rough landing for the likes of Chihuri and Nyikayaramba who have become used to a princely life style. Frankly, the more princely lifestyle the rougher the landing is going to be and, worse still, it is going to get a lot worse. As for those who helped rig the elections, have the blood of innocent Zimbabweans on their hands, etc., welcome to hell; because they will have to account for their actions!

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    elliot 8 years ago

    This is good maybe the army will start learning who is the boss. People are the boss and when they say they do not want Zanu pf the army should listen and not interfere.

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      Wilbert Mukori 8 years ago

      The Army, Police and CIO top brass is full of individuals of little intellect – especially selected for those. Most of these moron will never ever see the connection between the success of the private sector and the national economic prosperity, for example. There is nothing wrong with corruption and looting; there is more where that came from, as far as they are concerned. Mugabe gave them the licence to be corrupt and to loot and so his was their man and anyone who said otherwise was to be silenced pronto!

      And many innocent Zimbabweans have suffered greatly under these morons and over 30 000 murdered! Only a moron would beat, rape and murder someone because they dared exercise the basic and fundamental rights and freedoms.

      Now our morons are learning that there is no bottomless pit of money. When the dictatorship is finally swept away, the process is already in full swing, they will learn that no one is above the law. They will have to account for all the blood on their hands!

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    Johno 8 years ago

    The army police,ZINARA,AG’s office all retain their income from the diamond mines, traffic and other fines,toll-gate fees and passport application fees, etc, i.e they do not pay remit it to treasury, yet they expect their salaries and other expenses to be paid for by treasury.These departments should not be getting a single penny from treasury let alone complain that they are not being given enough.What are they doing with the money they generate?The fact that this situation i allowed to prevail can only mean one thing-the top chefs are making a killing from this scenario.Where on earth do you have government departments retaining”their” income?without remitting it to treasury? Only in God-forsaken Zimbabwe!

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    You guys better start printing money again. Can’t wait for Bob to be chairman of au to teach the rest of Africa how to manage a country.

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    Saddened 8 years ago

    We don’t need an army that ill-treats the populace so they should all go and join the rest of us who have been suffering for years

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    Mthwakazi 8 years ago

    And this MDC-T now wants another GNU to once again rescue these gukurahundis from their self-created mess.

    Leave them to face the consequences; the surest way to the end of gukurahundism in Zimbabwe. You rescued them in 2008, now you want to do it again, are you mad?

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    Mthwakazi 8 years ago

    One thing which is as sure as the rising sun is that the gukurahundi sanctions will never be lifted by the US, come what may.

    If it was so difficult to remove the greatest world icon Mandela from the terrorist list until recently, who do these gukurahundis think they are?

    In the US once a law has been passed by Congress, it takes great convincing to reverse it. Even the President finds it hard going on this one!!

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    Khaya'bonina 8 years ago

    The fountain is drying up , no more swimming , ok lets all suffer until we standup and say no to ZANU PF government .

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    Be patient, when they are unable to pay the police and unable to pay or even feed the army it will collapse

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    Malambanie 8 years ago


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    The time is coming The Grapes of Wrath are growing heavy. The people will take to the streets , the soldiers will turn on the Generals who have skinned our country. The pillagers will be brought to book and chaos will thrive. Chenjerai Mnangagwa! Mujuru and Mugabe Chenjerai!

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      veduwe 8 years ago

      They must go to hell.The same group who destroyed our economy, killed and tourchered their own pple now complain of money, what a joke.They stole from diamonds, farms etc now still wants more.what kinds of fools are they.After all what help are they giving to our peace loving zimbabweans except intimidating the people. With or without these cants zimbabwe can cope up for now.we don’t need these thugs who are there to only destroy. Zimbabwe is dead today, because of these two ministries thieves, murderers and violent lovers.Mbwa get money from your ZANU coffers

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    rebel 8 years ago

    They looted diamonds from Chiadzwa and killed people who were also trying to make a living.The problem is that everyone in the Force is working for his pocket. At a roadblock motorists are induced to pay bribes instead of paying fines.

    Chihure should not talk of rentals. Misuse of police vehicles is too much. Fuel consuption on private journeys by the senior officers also count. MaPropols anenge aine a fleet of vehicles but its very rare to see any of those vehicles parked. Dzinenge dzichingofamba chete kuita private mission dzasshefu.

    My opinion is that both organisations Army and Police should not be allocated huge budgets coz they wil use the money to buy resources to supress the masses.

    Kana tichiti zvakapressa eveyone should feel it. Mari yekutengera masoja marations neuniform ikashaikwa vanozivavo kuti vatongi vakundikana.These two organisations should not complain at all coz hapana chavarikuita.

    My understanding is that if you see a policeman/woman you are safe. But in Zim its opposite. Its either uchagumwa kana kupomerwa mhosva kuti pauri hapabvumirwe. Bvunza road kana madirections unoudzwa kuti usandinetse. In a country were citizens are respected information to apprehend offenders is obtained easily coz vanhu vanenge vachiziva kuti mapurisa anotibatsira unlike ours which is brutal,full of corruption and so on.

    Iyoyo mari yamakawana ndiyo inokodzerana nemi. Iribhoo yakadaro.Musatinyangadze.

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    Mutorwa 8 years ago