As the situation in Mozambique continues to deteriorate, the SADC head of States gathered last week to map a way forward and most importantly respond to the heinous attack in Palma. More than 10 foreign nationals were killed after the Islamic militants attack the city, it is feared that among the dead there was a Zimbabwean National although we are still waiting for official confirmation from the embassy.
So SADC has agreed to send soldiers to help the Mozambican army to counter the terrorists. But it will be the second time where Zimbabweans army is being deployed for a full-blown war under the SADC mission. The first time was in 1998 when the then president Robert Mugabe deployed soldiers in DRC to try and stabilize the Kabila regime that was almost collapsing. Although the soldiers fought with high resolve, they suffer serious casualties both in personnel and resources.
But most of the soldiers who participated in the last war are no longer active and some have been promoted to more technical and senior roles. This means that if president E D Mnangagwa agrees to deploy the army most of them will be facing a formidable opponent for the first time in their careers. The other pressing issue is our dire economic situation, deployment of soldiers will not be wise since it requires a huge chunk from the budget. Considering our struggles with COVID and the vaccination program we will likely come out of the conflict in a worse financial situation than our current status.