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Zimbabwe Defense Chief Said to Be Considering Downsizing of Army


Solomon Chikowero, an ex-soldier and head of the Movement for Democratic Change Veterans Association, charged that rather than moving to downsize, the army is actually reinforcing its ranks

Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has been quoted as saying his ministry is thinking about downsizing the army by 18 percent to match its budget allocation for 2011.

Media reports said Mnangagwa, a close political associate of President Robert Mugabe, made the statement at a function Tuesday at the Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare.

Such a cut would reduce troop numbers from 55,000 to 40,000.

But Solomon Chikowero, an ex-soldier and head of the Movement for Democratic Change Veterans Association, told Patience Rusere that the army is in fact recruiting.

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