A Letter to Zimbabwe National Army Officers

A Letter to Zimbabwe National Army Officers
Published: 20 August 2019 (243 Views)

I write to you as an ordinary Zimbabwean civilian. But I am not just an ordinary civilian. I write to you as your family member. I write to you this short letter as your brother, your sister, your mother, your father, and very importantly, your own son and daughter. I write to you because I have heard that you are our Defence Forces, Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

Ladies and Gentlemen in uniform, you are our last line of defence. We are in pain. Some of you may live in the barracks, but a lot of you are also with us in the communities, rural or urban. You know our pain. No water. No electricity. No food. No jobs. No cash. No health care. We are just tired of having to hunt for water every night, if ever it comes, not to mention having to cook during unholy hours of the night if ever electricity comes, that is, if we happen to live in urban areas.

I can't even begin to talk of the roads infrastructure and all. But you all know our pain. We are in deep pain.

We, your families, are living miserable lives. Unfortunately, day in day out, for almost 40 years now, we are told that we live in this unbearable pain because of Western sanctions. But, our Defence Forces, whilst we wallow in so much sorrow, pain, poverty and misery, we see those in government living luxurious lives. They hire private jets. They import Lamborghinis. They send their children to private schools and overseas universities. They obtain their healthcare from overseas. But we, your families, your children, your mothers, fathers, brothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, live in untold, unbearable, misery and sorrow. We hardly have anything to eat.

What has now become clear to us is that the powers that be are part of the problem, not part of the solution. I don't know much detail about rules, laws and regulations that govern your profession, but, dear Zimbabwe Defence Forces, we, your families, are in pain. We have tried to vote for change, but nothing happens. We have tried to register our pain with the government through peaceful demonstrations, but we are beaten up, killed, maimed and jailed. What then shall we, your family members, do?   

Elections are not bringing any change. Demonstrations are crushed before we even register our grievances. Kahle kahle we are ruled by force. To this and previous governments, it doesn't matter whether we go hungry or not, have healthcare or not, they just want to eat on our behalf and on your behalf. But anyway, these are problems that you already know. Let me not burden you any further.


Ordinarily, we would not ask for your help in this manner, but all else has failed. We cannot continue like this. From some reading of history and experience elsewhere, we know that the Defence Forces have come to the rescue of their own families in times like this. We read of how the Army in South Korea seized power from those that had corruptly ruled for decades causing untold pain and suffering to citizens, and it built within 35 years one of the world's largest economies. We read of how, despite the manifold challenges that remain, Army officers overthrew the Derg Regime in Ethiopia and is in the process of delivering a better life for the majority of Ethiopians.

In the midst of sorrow, pain and untold suffering of their families, we saw from Rwanda to Burkina Faso Army officers responding to a higher call of duty, a duty to defend citizens from enemies, both internal and external. And we have seen how enemies of the state are not always rebel elements, but they may well be the government of the day. This is where we desperately need your help. You are our last line of defence. And we refuse to believe that you belong to any political party. We believe that you are OUR DEFENCE FORCES.

Dear Zimbabwe National Army, Dear Zimbabwe Defence Forces, we joined you in the streets in November 2017, jovial and happy that a long-ruling dictator who had subjected us to untold misery had finally been brought down. You gave us hope. Your own hopes, the hopes of your own families, were lifted. So much hope, and yet a year later and a half, so much pain and suffering. We had hoped change has come, but we were wrong.

But we know and believe, that like us, your families, you know you were taken for a ride, that you were robbed, entlek you were used. They continue in government to live large, to live luxurious lives, and yet we, your families, your mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, and very importantly, children, live in pain and suffering, everyday. The poverty is just no longer bearable.

We therefore ask you: please help us. Please defend us. Please do whatever it takes to protect us, your families. Yes, some among us don't trust the idea of a military takeover of government, but at this stage we have no hope elsewhere in this world. We ask that you remove for us this pestilential cause of our suffering, this Association of Devils called Zanu.

We ask that you seize power from these greedy people responsible for our suffering. We ask that if it takes killing them, so be it. We are tired of this poverty and suffering. Please, defend us, we are your families, your mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents and children.


Ordinarily, knowing your constitutional role, we would not ask this of you. But we have reached our end. We ask you, our brothers and sisters, children, fathers and mothers in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, once you have removed this Association of Devils causing our suffering, please, please, we won't mind your rule, but we only ask that it be a genuine power-sharing government. Please bring in the opposition, the churches, civil society, labour and business, form a National Unity Government, ideally let it be headed by a Judge or similar. All we want is peace, security, stability and economic wellbeing.

We ask of you, please be like the South Korean Generals. Please learn from Rwanda, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso. We are not saying it's all rosy and perfect there, but we believe that once you allow for a National Unity Government with stakeholders in the opposition, business, labor, churches and civil society, we may all live one day to be proud of you. We may see Defence Forces Day as our new Independence Day, for these rulers are nothing but a new breed of colonialists. Dear Zimbabwe Defence Forces, please help us.   

From your Family Members: Children, Mothers, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters long-suffering under sanctions imposed on us by successive Zanu Governments. Thank you.

- Poverty-Stricken Zimbabwean


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