By ZBC Reporter
THE Minister of Defence and War Veteran Affairs, Cde Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri has appealed to the treasury to consider allocating a significant chunk of funds for the defence forces to execute their duties without being compromised.
Members of the portfolio committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services this Monday, had the opportunity to quiz the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs on how the inter-ministerial taskforce on COVID-19 is handling security matters in light of the prevailing pandemic.
“We have the biggest number of people testing positive from neighbouring countries, is there a coordinated approach within the region or what are other regional countries doing to liaise with you to prevent the spread of the pandemic?”
“Our borders as so porous and some soldiers are reportedly receiving bribes to allow people to use illegal entrance at borders to come back to Zimbabwe, what are doing to deal with this?”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri told the parliamentarians that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces form the backbone of COVID-19 frontline workers but the issue of inadequate funding to carry out their national duty is a major challenge which calls for urgent attention from the treasury.
“To deal with our porous borders, the good news is that we received some funds to secure drones to monitor our borders, but in terms of our COVID-19 budget we had applied for 500 million but we only received 100 million, the issue of manning borders is a security issue, and treasury should prioritise this so that our army will not be tempted to compromise,” she said.
On the question of the role of members of the Zimbabwe National Army deployed at roadblocks, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said they are just supporting the enforcement of the COVID-19 lockdown at the request of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.