The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Chancellor of the Zimbabwe National Defence University Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa has challenged the university to ensure that perspectives and solutions to mitigate modern threats like money laundering, corruption, cyber crime, unemployment and terrorism are also included in national policy proposals. 

The President made the remarks while officiating at the National Defence Course Number 06 of 2017 graduation ceremony held at the Zimbabwe National Defence University this Friday morning.

The course included foundational theories and studies on the domestic situation in the country covering social, economic, political and legal systems and President Mnangagwa expressed optimism the graduands acquired knowledge that will help them in dealing with the ever-changing socio-political realities and national defence concepts.

 The graduation is the second after the National Defence College attained university status in March 2017.

The Commandant and Interim Vice Chancellor of the university, Air Vice Marshal Mike Tedzani Moyo said the class of 34 is a high-profile group comprising participants of diverse and rich experiences who include lieutenant-colonels, wing commanders, captains, brigadiers and senior officers, among others.

President Mnangagwa, who is the Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) and Chancellor of the ZNDU,was guest of honour at the graduation ceremony of officers drawn from the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ), Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) and staff members from the president’s department, as well as officers from sister security services from the region and beyond.

He expressed optimism that the graduates have acquired relevant knowledge that will help them in dealing with the ever-changing socio- political realities and national defence concepts.

Of the 34 graduates, only six are female and President Mnangagwa expressed concern with the number of women participants which is below the expected threshold.

In order for the university to reflect a true national posture, there is need for the institution to start enrolling civilians from public and private institutions, said Cde Mnangagwa.

One of the graduates from Zambia thanked the Zimbabwean government, saying the knowledge they have acquired has prepared them to contribute meaningfully to the national development of their respective countries.

Three graduands were awarded book prizes.

Colonel Kenneth Mosime of Botswana Defence Forces won the Best Team Player Award, Colonel Kelvin Ziyambi of Zambia was the runner-up in the individual research papers category, which was won by Chief Superintendent Samuel Gate from the ZPCS.

The university offers a wide range of courses in defence and national security strategy formulation taught by local lecturers and some from other countries such as China, India, Egypt and Malaysia, among others.

The cantonment area where the Zimbabwe National Defence University is situated was renamed in April this year, in honour of the late national hero, Cde Rodgers Alfred Nikita Mangena.

Present at the graduation ceremony was the Minister of State for Harare Province Mirriam Chikukwa, ZDF Commander General Phillip Sibanda, AFZ Commander Air Marshal Elson Moyo, ZPCS Commissioner General Paradzai Zimondi and the Director General in the office of the President Ambassador Isaac Moyo among several other dignitaries.