“We are waiting for party cards from Chinhoyi as they have run out here. We can not get our files that have personal documents unless we produce a Zanu-PF party card” said one aspiring
soldier speaking on condition that he is not named.
Radio VOP reported on Sunday about unconfirmed reports on war veterans ‘assisting’ the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) in the recruitment of junior officers in Karoi for the 2.3 infantry battalion.
Disgruntled aspiring junior army officers speaking to Radio VOP said it was mandatory to have a Zanu-PF party card as well as a recommendation letter from local party leadership from one’s area.
Radio VOP witnessed some of those waiting for the cards looking dejected as they had nowhere to go around late in the evening.
Nearly 70 youths were affected by card shortages as over 200 had been registered in Karoi
town. Some came from surrounding farms and had no accommodation in the farming town situated about 204 North West of Harare.
However, some expressed concern over demands by the war veterans facilitating the vetting exercise forcing them to pay $1 as administration fee.
”They want $1 as administration fee and another dollar for the card. Where do they think we get that money when we are unemployed? We thought war veterans do not get paid for this exercise as patriotic citizens” added another one who set for Ordinary Level exams this year.
Although the exercise is being done countrywide, Magunje’s 2.3 Infantry Battalion that hosts Mashonaland West is targeting at least 1800 recruits, according to our sources.
War veterans claim they are assisting in recruiting soldiers “to get rid of unpatriotic youths and
sell outs” in a move aimed at propping up Zanu PF ahead of possible elections next year.
The youths took over after election officers from the Registrar general were purged as Movement for Democratic Change supporters and at least 75 000 were employed as payback by Zanu-PF government.
Zanu-PF party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and army spokesperson could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.