COULD someone explain to me of what possible use or benefit to Zimbabwe the recently purchased fighter planes from China are?
From which enemy are they capable of
protecting us? Presumably they might deter an aerial attack on Zimbabwe by Botswana, or even Mozambique or Zambia. But I have my doubts as to their ability to provide an effective air defence in the event that the United States or the United Kingdom decided to “do an Iraq” on us.
My understanding of our relationships with our neighbours is that they are not seen as potential threats in terms of an armed invasion. If this is so, who is the perceived potential threat against whom these fighter planes will provide an effective deterrent — township dissidents?
Perhaps some military strategist can enlighten me. Failing which I can only assume that such purchases have purposes that are unrelated to national defence — such as keeping the military happy by supplying them with new toys with which to play. Hardly a good enough reason when our health and education sectors are in a state of collapse and many Zimbabweans face starvation!
The simple fact is that Zimbabwe’s national defence does not depend on the acquisition of expensive military hardware. We need these planes about as much as we need a navy.