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Soldiers of misfortune

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Increasingly, Zimbabwe’s political pulse is palpable everywhere, with one soldier the other day saying rather cynically, “do you have to wear a T-shirt to show which party you support? I know who I will vote for.”

And then he joined other colleagues in lamenting the state of the nation.

It was obvious what he was talking about.

Yet one continues to hear uncorroborated claims that the security forces are fully behind the revolutionary party.

Could be true, but then “security forces” is too broad.

What we however know for certain is that it is the vultures who have stripped the land of its wealth, who have built mansions, who have enjoyed overseas trips while privates (sic) and corporals who know damn well they will never be homeowners, have become the laughing stock of an equally impoverished population.

Never mind that back in the 1980s being a soldier was envied as a well-salaried career of choice.

I recall as young boys back in the day envying the local older lads who had joined the military and from whom we came to know “tinned beef,” a type of food that was enough to convince young minds that being a soldier was “the life!”

You see, these soldiers always brought home tinned beef “from work” and it seemed so exciting that you could carry a gun in hand and tinned beef in the other, talk about romanticizing the army life!

I sniggered the other day when a colleague’s four year old daughter was reciting stuff she had learnt at kindergarten and when she arrived at the “when I grow up” part said with the innocence of a child: “when I grow up I want to be a soldier.”

I recalled how young men from Matebeleland have shunned recruitment to the barracks over the years, with impassioned pleas from Zanu PF political leaders in the region for the young Matebeles to join in the fight to protect the country’s sovereignty. These please have fallen on deaf ears!

Thus it is that the special vote count will be eagerly watched, and it would be interesting that the rioting cops were actually determined to keep the status quo!

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