The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa continues to call for restraint and more peace throughout the country saying violence has no place in the new Zimbabwe and second republic.

In his keynote address at the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Day celebrations at the giant National Sports Stadium in the capital this afternoon, President Mnangagwa said he is disheartened by the incidences of violence that rocked the streets of Harare at the instigation of some leaders in MDC Alliance which led to the unfortunate loss of lives and damages to property.

He extended his deepest condolences to the bereaved families and relatives of the victims of the politically motivated violence.

“We continue to call for restraint and more peace throughout our country. The new dispensation has opened up the country’s democratic and economic space and this should, however, never be abused,” he said.

The President has commended the ZDF for maintaining peace and tranquility as well as safeguarding national peace and territorial integrity of the country.

He said he is proud of the Defence Forces who continue to raise the Zimbabwean flag high through their demonstration of professionalism, intelligence and diligence wherever they are deployed.

“Our officers have earned excellent international reputation, goodwill and confidence throughout the world. Several officers are currently deployed in Ethiopia, Lesotho, Somalia, South Sudan, and at the UN Headquarters,” said the President.

To widen the scope of ZDF competencies, President Mnangagwa said officers have continued to undertake training programmes offered by other countries and this accounts for several ZDF officers presently attending regional courses in Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia as well as others carried out in China, Russia, Greece, India, Malaysia, Pakistan and Belarus.

The Commander-in-Chief of the ZDF also said his administration is committed to improving the welfare of the defence forces.

“My administration is committed to progressively and comprehensively address the conditions of service of our Defence Forces, inclusive of their housing needs, as the economy improves. In addition, my administration will also pay attention to the re-equipping of our Forces, whose equipment in some instances dates back to 30 years,” he said.

President Mnangagwa has commended the ZDF Commanders for their astute leadership and guidance to the country’s defence forces, as he encouraged all ZDF officers, men and women, to remain resolute, and to professionally and diligently execute their mandate to protect Zimbabwe territorial integrity and its national security.

The celebrations are running under the theme, “Zimbabwe Defence Forces: Dedicated to the Defence of National Sovereignty, Stability and Socio-economic Development”.