Sanctions Hamper Zim's Weapons Purchases: Sekeramayi

A visibly worried Dr Sekeramayi told invited guests in Harare that the sanctions meant that Zimbabwe could not up-date its dilapidated equipment and technology and was lagging behind other countries especially in Southern Africa.

South Africa has a more sophisticated technology and arms sector, while Botswana is moving up the ladder despite the fact that the two nations are at peace.

Zimbabwe is also at peace but has a huge budget for military and state security matters.

“In terms of technology the security sector in Zimbabwe is no different from all other sectors of the economy,” he said.

“It is a net importer of technology. The technologies required are not cheap, hence large sums of money are required to import them.”

Minister Sekeramayi, who has been at the helm of the security sector for more than 20 yeas in Zimbabwe and trained in Sweden by the secret service, said the “current illegal Western sanctions against Zimbabwe add to the difficulties of importation of such equipment”.

“This is because companies are required to pay upfront in this depressed economy,” Sekeramayi said in Harare.

“This is not to say Zimbabweans do not understand nor see the need for such technologies. Zimbabwe has one of the most educated populations in the world and our people understand technology. It’s just that the funds for companies to purchase that technology are not readily available.

“It is noteworthy that technology is usually most expensive when it just enters the market and gets cheaper as newer technologies come into the market to replace it.”

He said this explained why some Zimbabwean firms could be operating just a step behind “cutting edge technologies”.

President Robert Mugabe, including Minister Sekeramayi, has been put on the sanctions list for alleged human rights abuses and running down Zimbabwe’s vibrant economy.

The country also cannot buy military equipment from the West due to the sanctions which have been blamed by virtually all politicians in Zimbabwe especially those in the Zanu PF camp led by President Mugabe.