PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has once again failed to address the current Zanu PF unrest that has sucked in the country’s military, prompting their issuing of threats directed at elements allegedly stirring tensions within the beleaguered party.
In his address during celebrations to mark Defence Forces Day on Tuesday, President Mugabe also avoided addressing continued pay delays that have affected the army and the rest of the civil service.
Instead, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander-in-chief took much of his 14 minute address to exalt the army for maintaining their discipline and being instrumental in civil assistance programmes such as building schools and clinics, de-mining activities, food relief efforts and international peace keeping missions.
“Our soldiers without exception have demonstrated the highest level of discipline. They did make us proud,” President Mugabe said.
“ZDF is cognisant of the need to continuously review conditions of service of its members. In this regard the defence forces recently acquired a fleet of troop carrying vehicles, staff cars and buses to facilitate the movement of personnel to and fro their respective work stations.
“In addition efforts are still underway to provide decent accommodation to members of the defence forces under Zimbabwe Defence Forces under the Public Sector Investment programme and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Benefit Fund.”
Mugabe, whose government has given the army first preference in the payment of salaries and bonuses, failed to give assurance to the army his government was still capable of paying their wages every month.
The broke government has since been forced to continuously move pay dates as it struggles to mobilise financial resources to meet its wage obligations.
The past few months have also seen the Zimbabwean leader involved in fierce clashes with war veterans, who are a reserve force to the country’s army.
The pro-Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa war veterans group wants the Zimbabwean leader to officially ordain Mnangagwa as his successor as the 92 year old leader reaches the twilight of both his lengthy political career and life.
Defence forces commander Constantino Guveya Dominic Chiwenga last week took aim at Zanu PF politicians fighting to block Mnangagwa from becoming Mugabe’s successor.
Mugabe has in the past ranted against army elements allegedly meddling in Zanu PF internal politics.
However, on Tuesday, he missed the occasion of their day to call the culprits to order.
Chiwenga is widely viewed to be linked to the Mnangagwa camp but has vehemently denied the claims.