The Zimbabwean government has deployed hundreds of soldiers to 50 farms around the country in an attempt to reactivate the moribund agricultural sector with a move to command economy modeled on the practices of strategic partner China.
Military sources said a cadre of 20 officers was sent to study how the People’s Army of China helps key civilian sectors and how Chinese authorities direct the economy.
State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa confirmed the mobilization of armed forces to bolster agricultural production, insisting the military has the expertise and manpower to spearhead an agricultural turnaround.
VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe has also learned that Harare has imported tractors and lorries from China for the project, and that troops put on indefinite leave due to a food shortage have been called back to farm duty.
Reporter Blessing Zulu sought perspective from from military analyst Helmoed-Romer Heitman of Jane’s Defence Weekly on Harare’s latest bid to rescue agriculture.