“The instructors told us that there was no place in the army for people who did not know how to do the Zanu (PF) slogans. They said since we would have to salute President Robert Mugabe and other top Zanu (PF) officials, we should be members of the party,” said one aspiring recruit, who went to the 2 Brigade barracks in Cranborne.
Several applicants, The Zimbabwean was told, did not know the slogans, and the instructors reportedly told the hundreds that had gathered for selection:“Such people do not deserve to be in the army.”
Hundreds of applicants for the first phase in the recruitment process for Mashonaland East province were turned away because of the overwhelming numbers. There were vacancies for only 200 for the officer cadet course set to start in June.
A senior officer based at 2 Brigade confirmed that it was an unwritten rule that recruits, particularly officer cadets, had to show allegiance to Zanu (PF).
“It has always been like that. In fact, there was a time when, if you were not a relative of a serving member or had not been recommended by the party structures, it would be difficult for you to get onto the officer cadet course,” he said.
He added: “Things have, in fact, relaxed now and some who could not chant the slogan were admitted, depending on whether they were seconded by a known soldier. Everyone is however expected to show allegiance to Zanu (PF) during training and after. They will continue to chant the slogans during the course.”Post published in: News