Our only hope

In this week's issue we carry a story about thousands of disgruntled policemen and solders trying to leave the armed forces. In the past the government has looked after the interests of the army and the police, who in turn have viciously suppressed any dissent on the part of the long-suffering masse


The forces were both active and diligent in carrying out the diabolical Operation Murambatsvina, which wrought havoc among urban populations throughout the country. Members of all ranks have allowed themselves to be used as willing tools of oppression – thrashing suspected opposition members and civil society demonstrators, implementing the law in an unashamedly partisan manner and soliciting and accepting bribes at every opportunity.

As the ruling party’s disastrous economic policies bear their inevitable fruit of rampant inflation and desperate shortages of all basic commodities, members of the armed services, particularly those in the middle and junior ranks, have found themselves battling to survive – like most of the population. Even taking bribes to augment their meagre salaries no longer bridges their budget deficits. And so they are resigning.

But their options are limited. Unemployment is running at 80% and above. South Africa is deporting thousands of Zimbabweans every week. What will it take for them to realize that their best bet would be to do whatever they can to contribute to the removal of the current failed, oppressive dictatorship? Therein lies their, and our, only hope.

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