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Mugabe Promises Land For More Military Personnel

Today, Tuesday, is armed forces day in Zimbabwe and it coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Zimbabwe defense forces. President Mugabe spoke Tuesday about the accomplishments of the military and said more members would benefit from his land reform program.

Peta Thornycroft is the Voice of America reporter in Harare. She spoke to Joe De Capua about the message President Mugabe had for the military. She says, “He congratulated them on protecting Zimbabwe and protecting its territorial integrity over the last 25 years. He also congratulated in particular the Zimbabwe national army for various foreign missions it’s been on.” These include past deployments in Mozambique and more recently in the DRC, as well as peacekeeping efforts.

Reporter Thornycroft says Zimbabwe’s armed forces are well fed and well paid and many have received land under the program to seize white-owned farms and redistribute the land to blacks. She says Mr. Mugabe pledged to include another 6,000 members of the armed forces in the land program. She says the president also acknowledged getting military aid from China, including fighter planes and ground transport vehicles.