ZIMBABWE National Army (ZNA) commander, Lieutenant-General David Sigauke has been told to resign over the indiscipline in the army which has seen numerous cases of soldiers using service rifles to rob and kill citizens across the country.
Despite a warning by President Mnangagwa on Unity Day that the rogue soldiers would be punished severely, more cases of armed robberies involving serving members of the uniformed forces have piled up, leaving citizens with no trust for the men and women who should protect them.
Due to the shocking lack of gun control in the military, former Cabinet Minister Saviour Kasukuwere wants Lieutenant-General Sigauke to step down and apologise to the nation. Kasukuwere further wants the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, to issue a statement to the nation on what measures Government is taking to restore confidence in the soldiers.
“Seriously, someone should take responsibility for the loss of control in the Armed Forces, especially gun control and uncalled for indiscipline and step down. In serious nations, either the Minister or Commander should step down and apologise.
“The Minister of Defence should address the nation on this very important issue,” said Kasukuwere.
UK-based constitutional lawyer Alex Magaisa queried how Zimbabwe got to a situation where soldiers take loaded guns to public places such as bars, then shoot people with reckless abandon.
“Saka munhu akatomuka akatakura AK47 achiti ndichamboenda kubhawa? (So someone takes an AK47 at a barrack and heads to the beerhall?) Who does that? Inombobuda sei nyika isiri pahondo? (How do guns leave the barracks in a country that is not at war?) Is anyone in charge up there? Regai vazoti banana republic (No wonder why Zimbabwe is called a Banana republic),” said Magaisa.
He was referring to the Christmas Day incident in Mhondoro-Ngezi, in which a soldier shot dead four people and injured three others following a bar browl.
Another former Cabinet Minister, Walter Mzembi, called on tight gun control laws and said the issue of proliferation if weapons must be an electoral matter going into the 2023 elections.
“When an AK 47 becomes an ATM swipe card its time to locate Fighting Crime as one of the central campaign themes of 2023. But the real tragedy lies in national currency mismanagement and distortions resulting in a serious hunt for the USD dead or alive.
“The State must really start taking responsibility for Crime Prevention. In the USA the “2nd amendment” has always been a contentious departure point of liberal and conservative politics . And it is about gun possession and citizens defending themselves against unlawful violence. We don’t want to get there as a People.
“Definition of unlawful violence in conceiving the “2nd amendment” included ursupers of government power, and criminals whom the government of the USA then was unable or unwilling to control , no doubt Government must reassert control over rogue elements,” Mzembi argued.