Thursday, November 12, 2009

What happened at Pomona?

We do not seem to be able to stop shooting ourselves in the foot. Just as our neighbours start to show a sense of urgency about the situation in Zimbabwe, we start to fight amongst ourselves. As if the factionalism in the party was not enough, we now have the security forces fighting amongst themselves.

Following the disappearance of some 20 AK-47s from the Pomona barracks, it appears that a number of army personnel have been arrested along with an MDC official whose connection to them is as unclear as everything else in this murky story.

According to the Herald of 5 Novemebr the MDC man, one Pasco Gwezere, "is alleged to have teamed up with one Gertrude and some soldiers who are still at large and broke into the armoury to steal the weapons" on 20 October. The same article suggests that Gwezere and three other party activists went for military training at the Soroti camp in Uganda in 1999 with the intention of coming back to Zimbabwe to destabilise the government of that time. If this is true, it speaks volumes for the effectiveness of both the alleged training and our security forces. It would appear that it has taken the best part of a decade for the supposed "destabilisers" to put their training into practice - and our security forces only seem to have been able to rumble them after they have stolen weapons from an armoury.

The whole incident would be laughable if it did not reflect so badly on the party. Everyone knows that one part of the machinery over which the President and the party have been careful to retain control is the security forces and the security forces have clearly failed us whatever the truth behind this story. Either they have failed to detect plotters in their midst or, if the opposition press is to be beleived, they are rounding up a number of their own people without good cause - worse still it could be both.

One can only pray that tales of torture of high ranking officers are eventually shown to be pure fabrication otherwise our own armed forces, who have done so much to secure the gains of the liberation struggle, will start to feel threatened by their colleagues - whether in the CIO, the police and even their own superiors. There is a limit to the number of people we can afford to alienate and for each there is a cost.

1 comment:

  1. The apparent “suicide” in solitary confinement of the deputy commander of Pomona barracks (as reported yesterday in The Herald) does not make sense. If such a senior officer was involved in the theft, surely he could have helped the thieves get away with more than just 20 guns? The allegations of torture are equally worrying. Does anyone else smell a conspiracy?