Opposition 'worried' as Zim army 'recruits 1 000s' ahead of 2018 polls

2016-11-17 15:08
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Harare – Zimbabwe's main opposition the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has expressed concerns over the Zimbabwe National Army's (ZNA) recruitment drive at a time when the government is struggling to pay its workers.

According to New Zimbabwe, the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai has since called on the regional body, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union and the United Nations to "keep a close eye on the country's worsening political situation".

Reports indicated that the ZNA was currently recruiting "thousands" to join the national army. 

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said that it was "worrisome" that the national army had embarked on a huge recruitment drive amid a poor performing economy.

He claimed that the army's recruitment drive was a deliberate act to help build the ruling Zanu-PF's  "war arsenal" in preparation for the 2018 harmonised elections.

"At a time when the national economy is comatose and also the government is struggling to timeously pay the salaries of civil servants, it’s completely disheartening and patently irrational for the ZNA to embark on massive nationwide recruitment exercise," Gutu was quoted as saying.

In September, Gutu accused the government of deploying Zanu-PF youths to "masquerade" as police officers across the country to stop an electoral reform protest.

Gutu said that at least 75 000 ghost workers were on the government’s pay roll.

He alleged that most of these workers were Zanu-PF aligned activists, who were conveniently given the job title "ward or youth officers".

Read more on:    au  |  sadc  |  zanu-pf  |  obert gutu  |  morgan ­tsvangirai  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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