THERE was chaos at Cooksey Hall in Chinhoyi on Tuesday when hundreds of youths intending to join the Air Force of Zimbabwe were turned away after failing to pass the rigorous recruitment exercise.
BY NUNURAI JENA
Only 27 out of the 800 youths between 18-22 years of age were selected after a rigorous exercise that subjected potential recruits to a 10km run within 45 minutes, medical check-up and five levels of an aptitude test, among others.
Everything seemed to be going on well until late in the evening when the names of those who had passed were announced, prompting those not selected to question how some of their colleagues who had allegedly failed, ended up among the selected.
Among those who questioned the inclusion of some people was Mhondoro-Ngezi youth Obriel Musekiwa, who came second in the 10km run by clocking the distance in 38 minutes.
“I beat most of those guys. I was second in 38 minutes. I think those selected are sons and daughters of senior members in the uniformed forces. Fairness is paramount if we are to progress as a nation” Musekiwa said.
Another youth, Zezai Clemence Nyamini, from Magunje, said he was surprised that he had not been selected after coming fifth in the run and scoring high marks in the aptitude test.
A recruiting officer with the Air Force of Zimbabwe, who refused to be identified, said the 10km run was not a competition. He said whoever completed the distance within 45 minutes was eligible for selection.
“The run is not a race. Whoever completed the distance in the stipulated time frame was eligible for selection even if he came 50th,” the officer said.
The dejected candidates then demanded copies of their educational certificates and marked papers back, but the recruiting officers could not entertain them.
The recruiting officers also refused to comment on the issue, referring all questions to their head office.