The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) is underfunded and this has negatively affected the ability of the army to carry out its mandate.
This was said by the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri while making a presentation at the 2023 Parliament pre-budget seminar in Harare on Monday, 24 October.
Muchinguri-Kashiri revealed that the army is not able to keep all personnel in the barracks or provide them with basics such as food and uniforms. She said:
Let’s invest in our defence forces. My ministry is facing a lot of challenges, and we have inadequate accommodation to keep our forces in the barracks.
If we are adequately provided for, I can assure the nation that we will keep ourselves in the barracks.
What we see in the current situation is that our forces are renting accommodation in the townships, and they are often given names because of inadequate and indecent accommodation — let alone transport, which they also hire.
They are insulted on a daily basis. They sometimes go without food and even uniforms, and these are constitutional requirements.
Their food items have been reduced. Sometimes they have only sadza and beans. This is a serious situation we are faced with.
My fear is that these are young people who sacrifice to create this conducive environment for us to enjoy peace. We appeal for funding from you.
However, since independence in 1980, the government has prioritised the Defence ministry in budget allocations.
The army is not only one of the top three ministries which always receives the biggest allocation from the Treasury over the years but also runs its own private companies that generate revenue. | NewsDay