The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has urged Zimbabweans to uphold traditional cultural values and respect traditional leaders.

African traditional customs often shunned by today’s society were proudly displayed at this year’s ZNA 5th Artillery Brigade traditional leaders’ day held in Chiweshe.

Brigadier General Ernest Shamu said defence forces were traditionally under chiefs before changes brought about by the colonial system but the two parties now work closely together once more.

“In safeguarding our country, it does not require this uniform only, it requires our chiefs, our ancestors for people to abide by the law. Don’t tire in keeping the traditions and customs of our country. Why are we not preserving traditions and customs of our country? Why are we not proud of our culture? I urge you chiefs to continue to reach our people to be proud of their culture,” he said.

The Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs, Cde Monica Mavhunga said the government recognises the importance of traditional leaders and will continue to work with them.

“Let us respect and listen to our chiefs and preserve our environment. We should not go into sacred mountains and destroy trees,” she said.

Chairperson of the Mashonaland Central Chiefs Assembly, Chief Nembire bemoaned moral decadence and adoption of western cultural practices.

“How can we be hiring women from Brazil to parade in the streets naked? Women are important and should not be seen naked. Yes we want foreign currency but not in that manner,” he said.

The traditional leaders’ day was created to provide an interface for the army, traditional leaders and their respective communities.

The army donated fertiliser and maize seed to the 26 chiefs in the province for the Zunde Ramambo Programme.