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Hungry soldiers spark fears of a security crisis as economic woes worsen

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Hungry soldiers spark fears of a security crisis as economic woes worsen. According to the weekly publication The Zimbabwe Independent, top officers in the military and the intelligence sector are worried about a possible security crisis from hungry soldiers who feel betrayed at the economic suffering they are going through.

It seems like the deteriorating economic conditions in the country are sparing no one, a situation which has resulted in morale plunging to near rock bottom levels in the country’s security sector.

Sources who spoke to the publication revealed that the soldiers are furious that they have not been spared from the effects of the economic malaise and are suffering just like everyone else. A senior military official told the publication,

There is widespread disgruntlement in the army mainly over the terrible state of the economy. If you read the weekly situation reports submitted to the Office of the President and Cabinet by various army departments, you will be shocked by the level of frankness with which these issues are articulated. The biggest complaint among soldiers is that they have not been spared the economic crisis and their families are going hungry like everyone else. They also have rentals and bills to pay.

This was buttressed by another senior army official who said,

To tell you the truth, the bosses are edgy. There are fears that if the grievances raised by the restive soldiers are not urgently addressed, the situation could have grave consequences. In fact, in one of the meetings recently held, one of the senior officers stated that the economic mismanagement by government was equivalent to Zanu PF people digging their political graves using a tablespoon. Someone then joked that, in fact, they were now digging with a proper shovel. It’s a very delicate situation.

Another source who spoke to the publication added, …Of late, they have been very worrying, particularly since January when things started going bad. Basically, sitreps (situation reports) serve the purpose of gauging and determining the morale levels within the army. What I can say is that morale is at its lowest ever.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has said that he is aware of the potential crisis and is making all efforts to ensure that the uniformed services get better conditions of service. Speaking to editors on Wednesday, the Minister said,

On the security cluster, let me tell you, if you do not have peace, you will have (instability). There is need to get them a decent three meals a day; a decent uniform and then there is housing. I know the issues well. I am well briefed on their issues. We want to deal with that.

Source – iHarare

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