Put simply, we are a hungry nation and given an option, the men and women in uniform would do what the nurses are doing now: down tools to register their displeasure, but they cannot. So, they bottle up their anger and we can only hope it doesn’t explode. Even the garrison shops promised by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube in February are yet to see the light of day.
In her own words, Muchinguri said: “To all intents and purposes, they do not go on strike when others go on strike. They are the ones brought in to bridge that gap. This is always the case, especially with the Ministry of Health and Child Care medical personnel, who are almost always on strike.”
Muchinguri correctly represented her constituency and in doing so, confirmed that no one was taking care of the important men and women at the centre of protecting our territorial integrity, risking their lives in doing that.
She said they were hungry, they didn’t have proper accommodation, they didn’t have transport and this speaks of a sad state of affairs in the barracks. It’s alarming that the government has allowed the situation in the barracks and indeed the country to deteriorate to such levels.
In the wake of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the military personnel are fully exposed to the pandemic, but by government’s own admission, they do not have adequate personal protective equipment. That is an oddity given that, along with the police, they have been at the centre of ensuring people adhere to lockdown regulations.
Another shocking confession is that the soldiers do not have a dedicated military hospital like in other countries.
This leaves them having the burden of relying on public hospitals which nurses have deserted, where demoralised doctors are holding fort. If the soldiers are hungry and in a state of poverty, who then will defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests of the country?
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