president zdf 10.08.10.jpgThe Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe, has paid tribute to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for diligently discharging their duties and acquitting themselves well in offensive and peace keeping operations regionally and internationally.

 

 

In his address to the uniformed forces and thousands of Zimbabweans who gathered at the National Sports Stadium to commemorate Defence Forces Day, President Mugabe reminded the people that the day is one among many dedicated national days on Zimbabwe’s annual calendar, as it serves to remind people of the historical formation of a single Zimbabwean national defence force, from three seemingly irreconcilable forces, two of which had fought the war of liberation.

 

He said: “The defence of Zimbabwe’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interest is the domain of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, and the ZDF has discharged its noble responsibility with unyielding diligence and I wish to commend them for a job well done.”

 

President  Mugabe said the ZDF has acquitted itself well in promoting a common national vision and ethos, as it blended with the accommodative policy of national reconciliation adopted by government at independence in 1980.

 

president mugabe at the zdf day 10-08-10.jpgCde Mugabe commended the ZDF saying that through its Military Assistance to Civil Authorities and Civil Ministries programme, the force has played a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of the country during peacetime.

 

He praised the ZDF for its involvement in the construction of temporal bridges where original crossing points were destroyed by floods, building of clinics and classroom blocks, assisting the ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development  in

‘Operation Garikai/ Hlalani Kuhle’ and the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development in ‘Operation Maguta/ Inala’ food security programmes.

 

He said the uniformed forces have also been actively involved in the evacuation of marooned flood victims and airlifting of accident victims around the country, while locally, the ZDF has cooperated with other security forces in maintaining peace, law and order and thereby contributing to the creation of a conducive environment for national and economic growth.

 

The President said the ZDF has also quelled internal banditry activities in Mozambique along the Beira, Nyamapanda and Limpopo corridors in Mozambique, while in 1998 Zimbabwe heeded a distress call by the DRC and deployed forces to bring peace and stability in the Great Lakes region and SADC as a whole.

 

service chiefs 10-08-10.jpgInternationally, the ZDF has been involved in several peacekeeping and support operations under the auspices of the United Nations.

 

This has seen the ZDF deploy peacekeepers and observers to Angola, Somalia, Rwanda, Sudan, Liberia, Burundi and Nepal.

 

“In all these engagements, the ZDF has done us proud and raised the Zimbabwe flag high, through their unparalleled professional military combat,” said the President.

 

He also said the landmine problem that Zimbabwe inherited at independence has continued to be a threat to people and livestock living within the vicinity of the minefields.

 

President Mugabe said demining is continuing through the concerted efforts of the demining squadron currently in crooks corner minefield.

 

He however said they have recorded little progress because of the shortage of resources.

 

President Mugabe said government remains committed to ensuring a mine-free environment and efforts will be made to release funding to demining teams and identify willing cooperating partners in that area.

 

Cde Mugabe hailed the training being offered in various areas by the ZDF to its members, saying a well-trained workforce is the most valuable asset of any organisation.

 

zna march 10-08-10.jpg“Such training exposes members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to the most current information on defence and security issues and ensures that they are kept abreast of global trends in military technological advancement and development,” said President Mugabe.

 

He said the anticipated introduction of the National Defence College for military and academic excellence within the ZDF should significantly increase its competitiveness and standards.

 

President Mugabe said government is aware that the uniformed forces have not been amply rewarded, adding that efforts are underway to look at ways of addressing their plight.

 

He urged: “My message for you today is for you to remain loyal to your country and to jealously guard its independence, sovereignty and natural resources. Remain wary of renewed subtle imperialistic efforts to dispossess us of the control of our national resources.”