Zimbabwe Defence Forces Minister, Oppah Muchinguri, has revealed that the Zimbabwe Military is now unable to patrol Zimbabwe ‘s borders due to lack of resources.
She said this while giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committe on Defence, Home Affairs and security Service this week.
Muchinguri said Zimbabwe has borders which adds up to 3000km and it is not possible to send soldiers around the whole country and this has resulted in Zimbabwe having porous borders.
Muchinguri said the Ministry of finance has provided money for drones and these have been ordered. However, she said the drones will still not be effective because soldiers will not be able to react as they do not have vehicles to respond.
Muchinguri revealed that the ZDF had requested money for vehicles from the Finance Ministry, however, funds were not made available and the force is depending on 50 trucks donated by China. However, Police received vehicles and motor cycles and these are being used during patrols.
Muchinguri said soldiers in Zimbabwe do not have adequate rations. The Ministry of Defence had requested for $500 Million from the Ministry of Finance but were only provided with $100 Million. Zimbabwe Soldiers are therefore not receiving the rations due to them.
Muchinguri said there is a security commission headed by Hungwe that looks at the welfare of defence forces.
Garrison shops have not been established although they were announced by Mnangagwa and Mthuli Ncube in 2019. In the mean time, Soldiers are receiving hampers that are reasonably priced.
Muchinguri said there is an insurance policy covering more than 8000 front line workers such as soldiers, nurses, police and medics and those at quarantine centers. This Insurance covers is for 6 months and front line workers also have free health care.
Zimbabwe deployment in Mozambique
When asked if Zimbabwe had deployed in Mozambique, Muchinguri did not give a clear answer but said Zimbabwe will not act alone. She also revealed that Zimbabwe soldiers were deployed in Malawi as part of SADC and were also in Lesotho, where there is a facilitator.
Hard Core Criminals
Muchinguri revealed that there are 170 hard core criminals that have escaped from Zimbabwe quarantine centres that were released from South Africa during the lockdown.
Muchinguri said most of these people have no records and are now terrorizing communities. Soldiers and police were afraid of approaching these criminals because they were afraid of contaminated with coronavirus.
False Allegations of the Coup
On allegations of a coup in Zimbabwe, Muchinguri said steps being taken against social media abusers but refused to say what those steps are:
Muchinguri confirmed that there are no more roadblocks at night but she could bring them back if requested.
On Coronavirus, Muchinguri said ZDF had factories in which sanitiser were being manufactured because Zimbabwe has ethanol. She said there is even capacity to export sanitisers. On PPEs, she said ZDF has received donations from the private sector and had inported from China. The Zimbabwe government had also made available $1 Billion for coronavirus related purchases.
– Zimbabwe Military now failing to protect the Zimbabwe
– Soldiers salaries are now a big concern
– Soldiers rations are a big concern
– This was the first time a minister of defense has appeared in front of a Parliamentary Portfolio committee