No more cash for Zim army, says MDC

2012-06-13 22:15


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Special Report

Zimbabwe's 'Mister Ugly' contest turns ugly
Zimbabwe's 'Mister Ugly' contest turns ugly

Pageant judges have crowned a new winner of Zimbabwe's annual "Mister Ugly" contest, upsetting supporters of the crowd favourite and prompting rioting at the event.

Harare - The Zimbabwe prime minister's party said on Wednesday it can't pay the military until revenues from the nation's eastern diamond fields, largely sealed off by troops, reach state coffers.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party said the finance ministry it controls in the coalition government isn't receiving money promised from diamond sales.

The national treasury "is yet to receive a cent" from the biggest mining company that is staffed by former military and security officials, the Movement for Democratic Change said.

The defence ministry has said it needs cash for soldiers who are going hungry and to fund a recruitment drive for an additional 5 000 men. Defence officials loyal to President Robert Mugabe have threatened violence, the MDC said.

Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed to send army generals to the finance ministry to force Minister Tendai Biti to meet the military's demands, it said.

Top military commanders have repeatedly refused to salute Tsvangirai. In the latest statement of defiance, a third general last month repeated that the military would not allow politicians who did not fight in the bush war that led to independence in 1980 to take over the reins of power even if they win elections proposed early next year.

Human rights groups accuse the military and police of being at the forefront of political violence and intimidation surrounding disputed elections in 2008 that led to the formation of the troubled power-sharing coalition.

Biti has said he had been promised $600m this year in diamond revenues but received only about $30m between January and March.

Last month, he criticised what he called the militarisation of diamond mining and said the company Anjin, jointly owned by the state minerals enterprise and China, remitted none of the $75m in diamonds it was estimated to have sold in the early part of this year.

Anjin is mostly staffed by "security personnel of all ranks" transferred to its payroll to run its operations, Biti's party said on Wednesday.

Diamond mining in eastern Zimbabwe has been the subject of allegations of human rights abuses by the military and police and illegal money laundering by Mugabe loyalists.

Biti's party said it feared diamond receipts were being used to prop up state institutions controlled by Mugabe's Zanu-PF party. Biti had promised to increase public service salaries with diamond revenue but "threats will not produce the money as there is no such money in the treasury," Biti's party said.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the structure...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.