A total of 41 officers from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) have received certificates after completing a Joint and Command Staff Course aimed at equipping them with knowledge on aspects of staff work in administration of the army in peace and war time.

Two female students were among the 41 who received certificates at the Zimbabwe Staff College.

It is a percentage which does not tally with government’s national policy on gender equality as enshrined in Section 17 of the constitution.

Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who graced the occasion, says the college should reserve a certain quarter for women as a form of affirmative action which is in line with government’s gender policy.

“It is pleasing though that there is a deliberated effort to enlist more females to meet the expected 50 percent gender participation,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.

She emphasized the need for the ZDF to become mechanised and modernised as the country aims to become an upper middle income society by 2030.

“This is in recognition of the fact that most technological development initiatives the world over originate from the military,” she added.

The Zimbabwe Staff College is an associate of the University of Zimbabwe and Chinhoyi University of Technology with the assistance of defence attaches from the People’s Liberation Army of the Republic of China.

The ceremony also saw two students from Nigeria and one each from Lesotho, Tanzania and Zambia receiving certificates.