Bulawayo Lawyer and former Education Minister, David Coltart, says a poor country like Zimbabwe does not need fighter jets, as they will be destroyed in a war with a major power anyway.
He says what the country really needs are helicopters which can be used in search and rescue operations. Said Coltart:
I have often spoken about what aircraft our own Airforce should have. We don’t need fighter jets, in fact, they are a sheer waste of money.
All they do is massage our leaders’ egos at Trade Fair and other national holidays when they do fly pasts. They have also been used to intimidate people exercising their lawful right to demonstrate peacefully.
It is a national disgrace that our Airforce has been so ill-prepared in the past week. The only Airforce helicopter which made it to Chimanimani on Monday they couldn’t operate that day because it malfunctioned.
Much of the relief effort this week has been done by individuals and private helicopters which have been higher. Although we are grateful for the amazing generosity of these patriotic citizens it is simply unacceptable that our Airforce is so ill-equipped.
We must get rid of all fighter jet aircraft – we simply don’t need them and they would be destroyed quickly if we ever had a war with a stronger power- and never again waste money on them.
Instead, we must focus on acquiring helicopters- not helicopter gunships – but helicopters which can search for and rescue people. Sadly with climate change, it is likely that we will have more cyclones and so we must be prepared.