No more cash for Zim army, says MDC

2012-06-13 22:15

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.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-06-13 22:49

    And so heralds the beginning of the end? History tells us that when ones army is ones only means of keeping one in power and one leaves that same army helpless, hapless, hungry and very, very cross, ones days are numbered. One day, this may well be remembered as the One Salute Uprising

      Squeegee - 2012-06-13 23:03

      The beginning of the end started long ago. We now enter the later stages of the end. Something has got to pop - hopefully it will be Bob, followed by his cronies. Otherwise, expect many more refugees.

      Lacrimose - 2012-06-13 23:17

      @Squeegee - IMHO ZA should have declared Zim the 10th province back in '96 and put an end to this nonsense. Quiet diplomacy >= mega fiasco. From which no SADEC nation will emerge unscathed.

      Lacrimose - 2012-06-14 00:31

      Trick Question Time : Are ZA and its neighbours prepared for the ensuing war? Zim to the left of me, Swazi to the right - stuck in the middle. With who?

      Wilbert - 2012-06-14 15:03

      One's days are numbered for whom? Mugabe or Tsvangirai?

  • frankflower - 2012-06-13 23:14

    Will this make the blind Mugabe supporters finally see?

      ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-06-14 00:32

      probably not

      Wilbert - 2012-06-14 15:12

      It was stupid of MDC to single out the army because Zanu PF and Mugabe spin doctors will see this as evidence of MDC's attempts to destroy the army. Mugabe will be seen as one fighting for a strong army and the sovereignty of Zimbabwe!

  • ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-06-14 00:31

    just another African basket case country. and looks like government involvement in mining is doing wonders for the country. NOT. take note Malema/ANC/idiots

      Adjecent Sekhaolelo - 2012-06-14 05:27

      when does it ends!we are tired of hearing zuma issues even in stories that doesnt concern him!

      Revelgen - 2012-06-14 08:50

      Actually Adjecent, these stories really DO concern Zuma. If he had any spine as a prez, he would have stopped supporting Mad Bob years ago, and drawn a firm line in the sand. But as he doesn't make too many decisions - except what woman to marry next - South Africa has had to carry the burden of millions of Zimbabwean refugees - and yes, they ARE refugees, from a crooked murderous tyrant that the ANC still wants to be pals with. How wonderful it would be to have a president we could all actually respect.

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-06-14 01:44

    And China is in the thick of things!!

      Juan - 2012-06-14 04:37

      Of course where ever there is collapse and desperation, the Chinese are always there to lend a helping hand extracting the host countries minerals. It's like an opportunistic virus come to think about it, always takes over when the immune system is down

      Squeegee - 2012-06-14 07:02

      There are already over 300 000 Chinese in Zambia.

  • paulmichael.keichel - 2012-06-14 01:48

    Who is John Galt?

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-06-14 02:45

    And this is the way the youth league insist we do things here? Let's send them all to Zim so they can have their nationalized mines.

  • Remi - 2012-06-14 05:11

    I smell a military coup in the near future.

      Koos - 2012-06-14 05:49

      Only a matter of time. When will we get to see the report on the elections?

      Kevin - 2012-06-14 09:03

      agree with u - MDC will win the elections but the generals will take over

      Wilbert - 2012-06-14 15:22

      I do not think there will be a military coup. Finance Minister Biti will be forced to recant and pay the Army. The down side is the Army will have the excuse they have been looking for to up its anti-MDC rhetoric and violence against MDC supporters and Zanu PF opponents.

  • eddie.serane - 2012-06-14 06:38

    It iz now a serious case

  • Saamprater - 2012-06-14 06:57

    And you lot of morons think that if Malema nationalize the mines in SA anything will be different? Well, if you think so you are a bigger moron than what I thought.

  • Danie - 2012-06-14 06:58

    Go for it ANCYL follow your hero, cause hiper inflation like him, and pay R1000 for your next loaf of bread, It seem unreal, but bob manage to cause hiper inflation, (so even for a medical dr its better to come and clean hospital floors in SA) while Apartheid Smith maintain a stronger currency than SA. So go for it follow this example, see who beg for apartheid to return.

      busisiwe.kubeka1 - 2012-06-14 08:05

      Danie you like watching Rhythm City too much about a foreign doctor who's cleaning a hospital floor,it is just a sopie my dear

      Wilbert - 2012-06-14 15:31

      Adrian Jack You have to understand how far down the drain the Zimbabwe economy have fallen to appreciate that the reports of the Zim economy "growing fast" are meaningless. Unemployment had soared to over 90% in 2008 and now three and half years since the GNU it is still 80% plus. The economic recovery is not worth singing about!

  • Wayne - 2012-06-14 07:21

    I wonder how Juju and ANCYL will defend this position if called to respond?

  • Busani - 2012-06-14 07:43

    ZimBobwe and Mugargage system of white hate theft and destruction - in the name of senile man is nearing finalle

  • Andrew - 2012-06-14 07:56

    Conflicting statements. National Treasury "did not receive a cent" yet they received $30m of the promised $600m. Seems the military's generals are using the country's resources to line their own pockets. Nothing new, they've been doing that for decades along with the politicians.

  • erneyb - 2012-06-14 10:25

    Should there be a coup Mad Bob and his entourage will probably flee to S.A. where they can live in luxury on all the millions that he's got in S.A. and Singapore banks leaving the mess that he has created behind. Should the military take over, civil war will break out between the MDC, disgrunteled security forces, and the military. S.A. should feel ashamed of their miserably failed "quiet diplomacy" towards Zim. over the last ten years or so.

  • Chaapo - 2012-06-14 10:36

    This is twisted representation of the reality of what the central issue is which explains their stance. Those who were already in the army will continue to get what is due to them. The issue is about thousands of others who have been recently recruited to boost the numbers in the midst of an economic crisis and many of who do not even posses the basic educational qualification, the Ordinary Level [equivalent Grade 11]. This was done without consulting treasury and is all a plot by ZANU PF to stack the army with their militia which will be unleashed at the next elections. So first they flooded the army with new unqualified recruits and then began to demand more money in order to pay them. The Finance Minister asked them to show him where the money is because he is not getting much to satisfy the demand of a bloated army when there are other sectors equally in need and he is right. ZANU PF are welcome to employ them on their own tab; not at taxpayer's expense. Zim is not at war and does not need a big army-if anything it should be shrunk even further than present levels.

      Wilbert - 2012-06-14 15:50

      I agree with you the Minister is refusing to increase the army's budget to pay for the additional soldiers. But it is not the additional soldiers who will not be paid but those who have been serving in the army for donkey years. Sithole, you have to agree that it should not be the Minister of Finance alone who is to decide the size of the Army. In other words Minister Biti should not single out the Army's pay bill alone for cuts.

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-06-14 14:22

    dear all Mugabe & nationalization supporters (brainwashed Indlovu fools), this is what happens when the Govt takes control over mines, now what have you got to say, huh!!!! Same thing goes for land grabs, soon the Zimbabweans will be begging the UN for food aid, because the Govt has Cocked up the food supply through racist greed.

  • Wilbert - 2012-06-14 15:01

    If the national coffers are empty, then all government employees should not be paid. Singling out the Army is therefore unwise. And besides it is the senior Army Officers MDC’s be punishing and not the rank and file. This just too bland a instrument that is certain to miss the intended and do serious harm to everybody else. A few months ago PM Tsvangirai visited Marange Mines and he gave his thumbs –up to everything happening there contrary to the evidence on the ground and from Senior MDC members like MP Eddie Cross. He must first explain what has changed since then. MDC should have used its parliamentary majority to force Police Commissioner Chihuri and other senior Police Officers to arrest all those responsible for the political violence which has continued to this day. Or else say who gave them the instructions to do nothing. It is good to finally see MDC making a stand but it is even better if they made the right stand; battles are won or lost depending on the careful selection of when and where one picked to fight. It seems MDC under PM Tsvangirai’s leadership has developed a knack for picking a fight at the wrong time and place and over the wrong subject! This could all end in tears for MDC and even worse for the nation at large!

  • Ron - 2012-06-14 16:34

    The next Chimurenga is on the cards, and while it will bring about much suffering (something the African people are familiar with), it will ultimately bring about much needed regime change. Then Mnangagwa and the generals will be brought to justice!

  • bheki.wapson - 2012-06-19 06:52

    If no cash for zim army that means you dont wanna rul zim. You just want to bring enems.

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