Lieutenant General David Sigauke, commander of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), is said to have sent junior soldiers on forced re-training in Hwange as punishment for demanding a salary increase during an ostensibly no-holds-barred meeting.
Sigauke is said to have met with junior officers in Harare after his presentation and opened the floor to questions.
Some of the officers allegedly confronted him on their lowly salaries and questioned why it was not being hiked while senior government officials were amassing wealth at an alarming rate.
A chat leaked Monday also revealed resignation from the army had been banned up till the end of 2023.
“Many servicemen are throwing in the towel but recently when General Sigauke took over he banned all resignation applications until 2023,” reads the chat.
“Those burnt beans that had been banned by General (Edzai) Chimonyo as they were not fit for consumption have been brought back by General Sigauke as he is the one who supplies them. It is bad. Sigauke recently had a meeting with soldiers in Harare and addressed them then gave them an opportunity to ask (as a drill of course), junior ranked soldiers asked about salaries and why commanders suddenly got silent about promises they made in 2017.”
“Sigauke responded by giving a directive that the whole Harare District Unit be taken to Hwange, 12 Infantry Battalion for retraining. As we speak they are undergoing retraining in Hwange because they asked for better salaries and why they were not being hiked yet senior politicians were stealing and not getting arrested.”
The President Emmerson Mnangagwa regime is now clamping down on members of its state security, including police officers who were last week called to order for posting pictures and videos dismissing their poor salaries.
With a paltry salary of less than US$200 that is some US$300 less than what they were getting under late President Robert Mugabe, discontent has grown and fears mount there could be mutiny in barracks.
Army spokesperson Alphios Makotore said he does not comment on such issues over the phone.
“I do not comment on that over the phone,” Makotore said.
ZNA commanders have been struggling to contain rampant indiscipline in its rank and file while several soldiers have been arrested for participating in armed robberies across the country.