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The Zimbabwe Defence Forces recruitment which is underway is above board and has the blessings of the Treasury, Director Army public relations Lieutenant Colonel Alphios Makotore has said.His remarks follow reports from some sections of the media that Treasury did not sanction the recruitment owing to lack of resources.

Lt Col Makotore said in responses to The Herald that the army recruitment policy was driven by “manpower wastages” like any other organisation.

“On the recruitment issue, the army as an employer is equally affected by manpower wastages in the form of retirements and resignations,” he said.

“These manpower wastages need continuous replacements so as to maintain the strength of the organisation in accordance with its establishment. Each time these recruitments are conducted, bids for the necessary funds will have been done and everything will be done above board. On the same note, these recruitments assist in creating employment for our youths.”

Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi presented a paper at the National Defence College last week where he said the country’s staff complement in the army had dwindled and Government needed to compensate the reduced strength in numbers with modern equipment.

“Of particular significance was the shift from the large, defensive and robust forces of the old, to a smaller force of a minimum self-defence capability,” he said.

“As a result, since the mid-1990s, Zimbabwe reduced the size of its military establishment from 55 000 to approximately 40 000.”

Minister Sekeramayi said the drastic cuts had to do with International Monetary Fund and the World Bank staff monitored Economic Structural Adjustment Programme which failed in the early 1990s.

Responding to other questions from The Herald, Lt Col Makotore said the army was committed to providing free health care for its members through the establishment of military hospitals and clinics found at all military camps.

He refuted alleged claims that military personnel had resolved to withdraw their contributions to troubled health insurer Premier Service Medical Aid Society and were seeking a private plan.

Source : The Herald