president-mugabe 18.04.11.jpgHead of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe has commended the national army for the sterling work they have displayed regionally and internationally.

Addressing people at the 31st Anniversary of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, (ZDF) celebrations at the National Sports Stadium, President Mugabe said the forces carried out their duties with national pride, patriotism and honour.

 

“Since Independence, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces have become, on both the local and international fronts, synonymous with impeccable discipline, bountiful success and people oriented,” said President Mugabe

 

 

“The country is proud that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces have remained resolute in safeguarding the country’s hard-won independence, national sovereignty, territorial intergrity and national interests. In addition, they have found innovative ways of reaching out to and interacting with the public, and in the process, promoting good rapport with the community at large, and demonstrating thereby that they are indeed a people’s force ,” he added.

 

President Mugabe also spoke on the need to revise the salaries, accommodation, uniforms and pension benefits of the ZDF in line with the Poverty Datum Line.

 

He also said the forces have shown that they are socially responsible as shown by their roles in reconstructing bridges and schools destroyed by floods.

 

The forces also have a week dedicated to community work which they do throughout the country.

He also highlighted their joint charity work with Chinese doctors who came into the country to conduct free eye cataract surgeries. He thanked the Chinese doctors for donating equipment to ZDF which they used to during the surgeries.

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Cde Mugabe said the National Defense College which will also be a university and has reached commendable progress but however bemoaned the effects of the illegal sanctions on the construction progress and how they have stalled the acquisition of construction equipment resulting in the shelving of some developmental projects.

President Mugabe called on the members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to continue with their good works towards the development of the country saying, ‘Let your good works continue.”

 

Meanwhile, the President, who is also the Grand Master of the Zimbabwe Order of Merit, has presented honorary medals to 15 officers and members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for distinguishing themselves as principled, loyal and dedicated and competent military leaders in their service to Zimbabwe.

The 15 men and women, who were conferred the honorary awards, represented 1253 servicemen and women who have been conferred the grand officer of the Zimbabwe Order of Merit, the Commander of the Zimbabwe Order of Merit, the Officer of the Zimbabwe Order of Merit and the Member of the Zimbabwe Order of Merit.

They were either at the ZDF Day celebrations or were away on different national and international duties. zdf day parade.png

In a citation read during the presentation of the medals at the ZDF Day celebrations, Defence Minister, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa said the recipients of the medals played a critical role in leading the liberation forces as well as moulding the ZDF into a versatile and professional force that has become the envy of many countries.

The honoured ZDF members have also played a distinct part in initiating and monitoring the successful implementation of key operational, administrative and developmental programmes of the ZDF and stood firm to guard Zimbabwe against external and internal  threats to its sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and national security.