Home » General » Zimbabwe: Mugabe Dangles Trinkets for Army, Promises Soldiers Decent Accommodation

IN what is seen as an attempt to appease the military, President Robert Mugabe Tuesday promised houses to soldiers saying government was trying its best to provide "decent accommodation" for them.

He said this during the commemoration of the Defence Forces Day in Harare. This comes at a time when there is reportedly growing instability within the rank and file of the military created by government's failure to pay salaries timeously.

"... the defence forces recently acquired a fleet of troop carrying vehicles, staff cars and buses to facilitate the movement of personnel to and from their respective work stations.

"In addition, efforts are still underway to provide decent accommodation to members of the defence forces, under the public sector investment program and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces benefit fund," Mugabe said.

The president, however, avoided commenting on the pay delays.

There have been reports that sections of the army have not been amused by Mugabe's failure to pay them on time in the last few months creating a potentially explosive situation in an already desperate situation.

However, Zimbabwe Defence Forces chief, Constantino Chiwenga, in a statement on Monday, said the army was fully behind Mugabe and warned that the military would not watch while the country was being thrown into chaos.

"We have been watching events that are happening in our motherland, which have a serious potential of destabilizing the country. These have to stop and people must focus on development programs.

"You will therefore agree with me that the thinking in some quarters that the ZDF should be confined to barracks and expected to only emerge when there are physical threats to the country's territorial integrity is not only uninformed but is also not in sync with the letter and spirit of the supreme law of the land," Chiwenga said.

Source: New Zimbabwe