The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Service, Nick Mangwana, said that the country needs more heavy weapons to capacitate the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF). He tweeted on Monday:
So why do we have a Ministry of Defence if we can’t equip the soldiers? Hanti (Definitely) we need to be able to defend ourselves? #MoreZvombo (#MoreWeapons).
Mangwana’s remarks come after reports by Indonesia’s state media news agency Antara indicated that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who was in the Asian country recently, visited the state-owned weaponry industry PT Pindad in Bandung to explore the possibility of arms purchase.
The Antara news agency later repeated the report that Chiwenga was set to visit PT Pindad in Bandung, the Indonesian state-owned arms manufacturing company specialising in military hardware. The news agency said:
Chiwenga will be offered weapons and arms to modernise the Zimbabwean military, as well as other heavy equipment to improve the Zimbabwean mining industry.
Speaking in an interview with The NewsHawks, CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Siziba said the Government should prioritise addressing current economic challenges rather than buying weapons. Said Siziba:
It is worrying that the regime in Harare would want to buy arms as a priority for a country with so many urgent problems when it is not at war.
We are not Somalia. We have relative stability, so the country doesn’t need arms as a top priority.
The real challenge is the economic crisis due to a political situation flowing from a lack of legitimacy for Mnangagwa’s leadership.