Money for arms

HARARE - The Zimbabwean government has ordered USD65.9 million of military hardware from China North Industries Corporation.

The deal was clinched by Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and authorised by the leader of the military junta now ruling Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. It remains unclear how he would mobilize resources for the purchase but there are concerted attempts to beef up the army’s armoury amid fears of military intervention.

Just four months ago, a Chinese ship carrying arms for Zimbabwe was turned back from the Durban harbour and later airlifted into the country.

“The down payment is in respect of a five percent for the purchase of the military goods by the ZNA (Zimbabwe National Army),” an official document says.

“As any military force the ZNA has obligations to bolster it equipment holdings by new acquisitions in order to fulfil its designated roles,” a senior army official said.  

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