ZNA Recruits Despite Biti's Freeze

However, informed sources told Radio VOP that on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, the ZNA was however recruiting aspiring soldiers.

Recruiting ZNA officers were in Tsholotsho and Umguza on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

ZNA spokesperson, Major Alphios Makotore confirmed that the army has embarked on another recruitment exercise countrywide when contacted for comment.

“Yes, we are recruiting. It’s a national exercise,” Major Makotore said without stating how many aspiring soldiers will be recruited under the ongoing exercise.

Last month, the Finance Minister condemned as unlawful the recruitments of soldiers and police officers in light of the government freeze on recruitments, stating that the Treasury was not in a position to pay the new recruits.

The ZNA and Home Affairs Ministry have recruited 4600 soldiers and 1600 police officers as of May.

Biti last week extended a freeze on public sector recruitments, stating that “the employment costs have become an elephant in the living room when viewed against overall expenditures.”

Biti said illegal recruitments were creating ‘budget dislocations’ and stating that the wage bill will eventually top 57% of the total budget.

The latest recruitments come barely a few weeks after Defence Minister  Emmerson Mngangawa’s request for an additional US$2.5 million to bankroll salaries of the 4600 new recruits was shot down.

Mnangagwa recently told Parliament that the army was recruiting privates with substandard entry qualifications because “we unfortunately find it difficult sometimes to secure enrolment in some parts of the country because most of the young persons with qualifications have gone out of the country.”