Harare - The Zimbabwean Army plans to go on a massive recruitment drive next year because veterans of the 1970s war of independence are due to retire from active service, reports said this week....
"It is with this in mind that the Zimbabwe National Army intends to embark on a massive recruitment exercise next year to beef up the lower ranks of the army and prepare those in the middle ranks for the hand-over, take-over of the leadership of the army," Rugeje was reported as saying.
In a bid to make military service more attractive, the authorities are also promising to raise soldiers salaries to keep them in line with the ever-rising cost of living and give them new uniforms, the report said.
Soldiers last had their salaries upped at the end of April to around 27 million Zimbabwe dollars a month (now worth only 108 US at the official exchange rate, much less at the parallel market rate).
The cash-strapped Zimbabwe Government appears to be splashing out on the defence forces.
Despite biting shortages of foreign currency that often make it difficult for Zimbabwe to import fuel and medicine, the authorities have already paid out $1,2-million to buy more than 100 vehicles for top army officials, according to the official Herald newspaper on Friday.
The 127 Mazda vehicles were paid for with funds secured from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the newspaper said.
And earlier this week, the authorities were reported to have bought another six jet fighters from China worth an estimated 20 million US each. -
(On the other hand, the Zim government can hire them out as "peacekeepers" to make money...)