Fungi Kwaramba-Political Editor
THE Second Republic will continue equipping the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) with the latest technological equipment that responds to emerging threats threatening existing peace and stability in the country, President Mnangagwa said.
Apart from that, the members of the ZDF will be empowered through Government projects such as construction of accommodation facilities, programmes that will also benefit their children while preparing for their future after service.
In his speech at the 41st anniversary of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day, President Mnangagwa, who is also the Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, said the world over the military plays the leading role in technological advancement.
A technologically advanced army will be able to detect and flush out sinister activities that are aimed at derailing the country’s hard won peace and stability.
“In this era of unprecedented technological advancements, knowledge of the entire spectrum of modern and future battlefields as well as an understanding of contemporary threats is vital. The world over, notable technological inventions originate from the military and the ZDF must not be left behind.
“The modernisation of the national defence system and the armed forces remains on course and is being accelerated. As Commander in Chief, I recognise that a well-equipped, efficient, versatile, tactically agile and professional Defence Force is an embryo for peace, harmony, stability and development. This has far reaching positive impacts as a defence line and an antithesis to the changing security trends and threats,” the President said.
The army, which the President extorted to work harmoniously with civilians has been at the forefront carrying out people-oriented programmes such as the construction of schools and hospitals and more recently in tackling the invisible enemy that is Covid-19.
To empower the military to be equal to any threat, both visible and invisible, the President said equipping of the ZDF thus remains a top priority.
“My administration will thus continue to equip the Defence Forces with reliable means and technological capacities towards defending our dignity, sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as advancing our legitimate economic development interests at home and abroad.
“In this context, any sinister activities or clandestine machinations aimed at derailing and undermining national security will be exposed and perpetrators appropriately dealt with.
“We are a peaceful nation and a God-fearing people who uphold the international best standards and subscribe to international peace, justice and the rule of law as anchors for a prosperous global world and shared future.
“Guided by these principles, I exhort members of the Defence Forces to equally continue upholding the rich military heritage anchored on courage and absolute commitment to duty and the nation.
“Yours is a noble profession, you must therefore avoid association and acts that put to shame our security institutions. You are officers, men and women of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces should never be entangled in criminal activities,” he said.
The country’s military, which is involved in various peacekeeping missions across the world is set to dispatch instructors to neighbouring Mozambique to help fight terrorists in the Cabo Delgado region.
Locally, the army has played a leading role in the modernisation of the country towards the achievement of Vision 2030, to become an upper middle-class economy.
“Since the advent of the Second Republic and consistent with the Constitution, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces is playing its part in the implementation of multi-dimensional policies with regards the speedy recovery, modernisation, industrialisation, equitable and sustainable development of our country.
“Going forward, we must therefore consolidate the prevailing peace, leverage on the peace dividend and pull together in one direction as principled compatriots in building the Zimbabwe we all want. This is incumbent on all of us.”
The deaths of the country’s heroes this year however cast a shadow at the celebrations as Zimbabwe counted its losses from the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year alone, the country lost decorated soldiers in the late Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army, Lieutenant General Edzai Absalom Chanyuka Chimonyo; Retired Lieutenant General and former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Dr SB Moyo; former Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service, Retired Major General Paradzai Willings Zimondi; Ambassador Retired Lieutenant General Douglas Nyikayaramba and Retired Major General Clever Shadreck Chiramba who were all interred at the sacred National Heroes Acre.