The ill-conceived statement by one Victor Matemadanda that anyone who wants cheaper goods must join the army is grossly misplaced and an insult to the suffering people of Zimbabwe.
Matemadanda was implying that everyone should become a soldier if they want affordable goods and a decent life, yet it is impossible for every citizen to be a soldier. Every nation has diverse competences and thus giving reason for division of labour.
There is no privilege at all in buying from a garrison shop as every citizen must be able to procure goods and services wherever they want.
The history is that all military camps and police depots had garrison shops, then commonly known as army canteens but these were designed to service young recruits normally confined to the barracks and hostels during training.
Re-introducing shops for experienced professionals is an insult. In any case, apart from the rest of the citizens who have not been granted the privilege to buy from these special shops, they are inadequate in addressing all the needs of our uniformed officers:
There is a serious shortage of cash in the country, how are the garrison shops going to solve the cash crisis in the economy?
There is a serious shortage of fuel in the country, is fuel going to be available in the garrison shops? Will electricity that is in short supply in the country be available in the garrison shops, even for the soldiers? Will the garrison shops provide our uniformed forces with school fees for their children and will their relatives and extended families benefit from these shops?
The garrison shops are likely to give a rise to a black market as the securocrats are likely to buy from these shops and resell at inflated prices. The shops will only cause bad blood between the securocrats and members of the public and the nation is tired of these divide and rule tactics by the regime.
The prudent panacea is to find real long-lasting solutions to the crisis ravaging the country. We need our securocrats, like everyone else, to be accorded decent salaries that would enable them to live a decent life in their motherland.
Matemadanda must just go to Hell.
Secretary for Defence and Security