Zanu-PF shoring up army illegally

2012-06-18 15:47

Harare - More that 10 000 people have been hired "illegally" in Zimbabwe by ministries run by President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, including those responsible for the army and police, Finance Minister Tendai Biti has warned.

Biti is tasked with implementing austerity measures, as the southern African country tries to dig itself out of a deep economic hole.

But the minister, who is a member of the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - Zanu-PF's partner in government - has had trouble reigning in ministries run by Mugabe's party.

"The two chief culprits are the ministry of defence, which employed 4 600 since January, and the ministry of home affairs which has recruited 1 200 personnel without Treasury approval," Biti told Parliament last week.

The addition of new recruits was exacerbating the acute shortage of food at army barracks and adding to a wage bill Zimbabwe could not afford, he said.

"Even if they are 'illegal,' they are now part of the force," said Biti.

But their recruitment has raised even deeper concerns in the country where polls have been fraught with violence over the past decade.

"All the indications are that the military is preparing for elections and for a violent election, like there was in 2008," said Dewa Manhinga, a South Africa-based political analyst for Crisis Coalition, an international think tank.

The military has in recent months vocally supported Zanu-PF and dismissed the MDC, which is led by Mugabe's main rival in 2008 and current prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.

MDC not allowed

Last week the army's Chief of Staff Major-General Trust Mugoba declared at a public parade: "We will not even allow them (the MDC) to go into office."

When Biti at a ministerial meeting last week refused to pay the wages of the new army recruits, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly threatened him with violence.

The MDC has been the target of state-sponsored violence in the past. Tsvangirai was arrested and severely beaten by police in the run-up to the 2008 election.

MDC supporters were among the more than 200 people reportedly killed by security forces, in what was widely regarded as a fraudulent poll that saw Mugabe return to office for a sixth term.

The 88-year-old who became prime minister at independence in 1980 and later moved into the presidency, is widely expected to run for office in the next election.

"The country has already started recording an increase in cases of politically-motivated violence and we must rely on the likes of Mnangagwa, as a senior government official to denounce unruly behaviour," said an MDC statement.

"The defence minister must know that there are other means of solving challenges other than by threats and intimidation."

  • Henk - 2012-06-18 15:51

    What a nice example of Africanism!

      matthew.swanepoel.9 - 2012-06-18 16:17

      A solution worthy of Bob Mugabe! he knows how to run a country :)

  • Rabble-Rouser - 2012-06-18 15:55

    Why am I not suprised? Zanu-PF have no intention of making it a fair election. They will use every dirty trick in to book to stay in power.

  • charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-06-18 15:55

    This is why our continent is so dysfunctional. I wonder if ZanuPF busses in their armies from the same rent-a-riot company that the ANC uses?

  • charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-06-18 15:56

    I wonder if the ANC will ever allow democracy to flow in South Africa should another party ever win more votes? Would be interesting to see how easily they give up power to a democratically elected government.

      henry.bosman.5 - 2012-06-18 16:05

      Can you imagine the looks on their faces when one anc dog is purged from the civil services after another for criminal behavior,they'll scream racism from the high heavens,even if its a black guy or gal doing the purge

      Kevin - 2012-06-18 22:05

      The test will come as soon as the ANC face defeat at the polls. Mugabe and ZANU PF had Thabo Mbeki to give them the fig leaf of legitimacy contrary the wishes of the voters in Zimbabwe.

  • Pieriewaaier - 2012-06-18 15:59

    Mbeki's legacy, of course!Hope he feels satisfied. Silent diplomacy, pacifying the despots. An "African solution to an African problem" and the result is increasing misery and the prospect of another cleansing to be suffered by millions of Zimbabweans. Happy, Mbeki? Mission accomplished? Duh!

  • musamuskid - 2012-06-18 16:07

    When Biti at a ministerial meeting last week refused to pay the wages of the new army recruits, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly threatened him with violence. What nonsense is this? What do u call this style of governance?

      nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-18 16:25

      I don't know, but whatever you would like to call it, we're well on our way to having the same thing here in SA.

      Kevin - 2012-06-18 22:07

      He actually threatened to send the Generals to visit him in his office, which by implication is violence.

  • nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-18 16:17

    The real face of African Democracy.

  • Juan - 2012-06-18 16:17

    Three words just popped into my mind: Bob, brain, bullet

      isabel.w.stokes - 2012-06-18 16:50

      Great, Juan, but you'll have to miss out the "brain". He hasn't got one!

      Fourhundredkg - 2012-06-18 23:03

      It won't work. Bob is a zombie and therefore cannot be killed.

  • Gavin - 2012-06-18 16:23

    SSDD Same Sh_t Different Day die mugabe die, hell awaits your evil soul you waste of meat.

  • richard.hipkin - 2012-06-18 16:24

    The question is, will the ANC concede defeat graciously?

      Martin - 2012-06-18 16:53

      They cant take criminal charges graciously, defeat, hahahah, we will have to show them the door i think.

  • Johan - 2012-06-18 16:32

    Does this look familiar to anybody? Look how big the SA civil service has become

      Keith - 2012-06-18 16:49

      I hope you are wrong.

  • dorovan - 2012-06-18 16:45

    Another african style democracy in motion

  • fretam - 2012-06-18 17:12

    A big storm is brewing up there...

  • paulgerber969 - 2012-06-18 17:26

    Typical African Democracy. Rule by fear and violence and intimidation

  • paulgerber969 - 2012-06-18 17:27

    Typical African Democracy. Rule by fear and violence and intimidation

  • kseyffert - 2012-06-18 19:08

    "The defence minister must know that there are other means of solving challenges other than by threats and intimidation." I don't think so, you see that would actually involve some intelligence. A resource that Mugabe's government simply does not have anymore.

  • ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-06-18 19:28

    string up all those idiots in Zim, starting with Bob and the Major General. and then turn them into a pinyata

  • Jack - 2012-06-18 19:44

    The Zimbo population are pussies. They eat sh@t and never moan. They deserve their government.

      Kevin - 2012-06-18 22:15

      You are brave from the safety of South Africa. I suggest you get hold of some of the victims of torture in Zimbabwe before you blow off hot air. Oh perhaps you should speak to some of the Ndebele villagers in Matabeleland about what was done to them in the 1980's. Jack you're the only pussie.

      Advocatus.Diabolis - 2012-06-19 07:48

      Jack, what do you know??? Have you ever been to Harare, even for a day. have you spoken to people on the ground, have you read the publications, hve heard of the challenges that the MDC has faced. Its easy to talk...who do you consider brave? Any opposition to an oppresive regime requires regional and international support, real support, not just sanctions. Ask the Libyans!!!

      mzilikazi.khumalo.35 - 2012-06-19 20:27

      Inxeba lendoda alihlekwa (Don't rejoice at other's misfortunes), South Africa is following closely. Open your eyes.

  • sithembiso.nkwanyana - 2012-06-18 21:19

    Its time 4 AU

  • nkosinathi.sinanda - 2012-06-18 21:45

    The slogan of the Russian was " We feed all, we eat for you, we fool you and we rule you" I am afraid to behave like a rebel but me think we Africans fail ourselves very badly when it come to ruling. I might be called names for this but I am trying to be fair to myself and accepting reality. Its across the continent, despot here, dictator there, silly youth here, rowdy crowd there, civil war there, xenophobia here, corruption here, child rape there. What is wrong? No among of education make our leaders smart why? Intellectual bankruptcy in Africa is depressing.

      Richard - 2012-06-21 21:28

      I am afraid Nkosinathi I have to say it for your benefit:\r\n\r\nNkosinathi, you are a fool and a sell-out.\r\n\r\nThere is nothing uniquelly African about the ills you list. They occur all over the world.\r\n\r\n1) \despot here, dictator there\ - Eastern Europe, Middle East (there actually have Kings there), South America, Asia etc\r\n2) \Silly youth\ - skinheads and soccer yobs in Europe \r\n3) Rowdy crowds - Greece, Occupy this and that crowds in the US, the so called Arab Springs etc\r\n\r\nI could go on ... You my brother are advancing the discredited Apartheid myth that Africans are backward and a danger to themselves and everyone around them ... and that the civilised boer volk have to hold them with a tight leash for every one's sake. To peddle this myth, my brother, is just plain selling out.

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