President Robert Mugabe has commended female officers who graduated at the Zimbabwe Military Academy (ZMA) in Gweru for their resilience in the officer cadet training.

He said the continued enrolment of females at the academy should be applauded as it is consistent with government policy of promoting gender equality.

President Mugabe commissioned 136 officer cadets at the prestigious ZMA, among the graduands were 29 females and five from Namibia Defence Forces.

31 fell by the wayside after failing to endure the gruelling demands of cadet training.

Two officers however could not finish the training after they lost their lives in a road traffic accident while returning from their routine course breaks.

Addressing the graduands, President Mugabe commended the 29 women officer cadets for withstanding the immense pressure associated with officer cadet training saying their enrolment at the military training school is consistent with government policy of promoting gender equality in all spheres of operation.

President Mugabe also applauded the close cooperation between Zimbabwe and Namibia which has been sending its cadets to train at the ZMA saying the co-operation between the two defence forces enhances security in the two countries and the region.

The highlights of the day was also the presentation of colours to five army establishments by His Excellency President Mugabe.

In military terms the colours presented by the President are used to describe different flags of various brigades and regiments in the army.

The graduands took their oath of loyalty thereafter the reviewing officer President Mugabe presented awards to those who excelled during training with best allied student going to a Namibian officer cadet Ceacerian Powllars, commandant’s award went to Brilliant Ndlovu, commander of the army award went to Nyasha Kafawu while the sword of honour was presented to best student Ruben Patrick Mukuzunga.

The graduation and pass-out parade of regular officer cadet course 3/33/15 is the 33rd to be held at the ZMA since independence.