Army chiefs corrupt – widow

BULAWAYO - The widow of the late army General Paul Gunda has accused Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) chiefs of politicizing the army and being corrupt.

Gunda, a former commander, died in a mysterious accident in June 2007 after his car reportedly collided with a goods train at Watershed School, outside Marondera. He was declared a national hero and buried at Heroes Acre. At the time of his death, Gunda was linked to an alleged coup plot to overthrow President Robert Mugabe.

However, when giving evidence in court on Friday, Gundas widow Rangarirai accused ZNA generals of getting involved in politics and being corrupt. Rangarirai is fighting the army over the ownership of an upmarket house in Bulawayo which her late husband used as his official residence. The army wants her evicted saying she is not a soldier.

The rules are not followed at all in ZNA. For example, the current One Brigade Commander owns five vehicles and the wives of current commanders abuse army vehicles in their rural areas. Where is that written down? That is corruption, said Rangarirai. She said families of soldiers who died whilst serving in the army are suffering because they are being neglected by ZNA.

Widows of departed soldiers are suffering because there are being neglected by the army and have their benefits taken away and do not get what is supposed to be theirs. Some have husbands who died in the (DR) Congo and they dont know where they are buried because the cases are being politicized and today their children are not going to school, she said. ZNA commander, Philip Valerio Sibanda, was also expected to testify on Friday but he did not come and instead sent an army representative. Magistrate Nonkululeko Mkonto postponed the case to July 13.

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