By Tatenda Chitagu
GOVERNMENT has announced plans to recruit more soldiers despite facing a bloated civil service payroll which has seen Treasury struggling to raise salaries and bonuses.
Notices seen by NewsDay indicated that the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) will be recruiting in various provinces starting next month.
In Matabeleland, the would-be soldiers will be recruited at the Lupane District Administrator (DA)’s office on February 3, while on February 5, the recruitment team will be at the Tsholotsho DA’s office.
On February 8, the ZNA team will be at the Nkayi DA’s office, before moving to Bubi district offices and 12 Infantry Battalion Camp in Hwange two days later. The team is expected to interview more recruits at Binga Centre on February 12.
In Masvingo, potential soldiers will have to undergo the 10-kilometre test run on February 1 and 2 at Nemamwa growth point, before conducting a similar exercise at Neshuro growth point in Mwenezi on February 7 and 8. At Madyangove Primary School in Chivi, the recruitment will be conducted on February 4 and 5.
On February 10 and 11, the recruitment teams will be at Buffalo Range in Chiredzi as well as at Zaka Primary School. On February 16 and 17, the team will be at Ushe Primary School in Bikita and 4.2 Infantry Battalion in Gutu on February 19 and 20.
During the same period the AFZ would also be recruiting prospective aircraft technicians, pilots, fire fighters, nurses, drivers and plumbers.
In his 2016 National Budget presentation last year, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa revealed that civil service salaries were gobbling about 80% of the budget.
Chinamasa has, on various fora, announced plans to trim the civil service to enable the country to access funding for international financiers. However, the decision has been shot down by his fellow Cabinet colleagues.