What weighs heavy on our balance as a nation? President Mugabe last week officially opened the Military Training Academy. $98 million is what it cost to build the Academy. The money was provided by the Chinese as a loan repayable over the next 13 years from the diamonds which the Chinese are currently mining in Zimbabwe. With the current state of the health care system, socio economic state, the educational system in Zimbabwe and the poverty prevalence it’s worrying that we are spending so much of our resources in “suiting up for war”. $98 million is a significant amount of money to spend on military training. Zimbabwe is marred by bad record of health care , water provision and other serious issues and what is $98m compared to just one year of diamond mining? The areas we seem to be concerned about developing say nothing about peace and forgiveness and nothing about moving forward because , try as we may to move from our painful past of violence we seem to be preparing for a future filled with more of it.
During the President’s speech he allegedly said that Zimbabwe was inspired to build such an institution by “the West’s hate filled tactics” and thus saw the need to “beef up its national defenses”. The President did not actually give any factual evidence of foreign invasion and may actually never do so. Educating the people of Zimbabwe is very important but where will this Military knowledge be used? Will it help Zimbabwe build bridges of peace into the future or will it turn into a virus in idle minds that will drive the informed and trained to violence against the civilians? Surely the resources could have been put to a much better use. It may be very necessary to prepare for defending the country but at the moment we are sitting on a health time-bomb these issues should be top on our list of priorities.