Zimbabwe has assumed the chairmanship of the SADC Inter-State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC) spiritual and moral support working group with calls for the chaplains from the region to sharpen their skills in line with the changing social trends and expectations of the modern day soldier.

Apart from the physical injuries sustained at the battle front many women and men of the uniform continue to battle with post-deployment stress. The invisible scars and moral injury have in some instances resulted in irreparable damage to the lives of the men and women whose duty is to ensure territorial integrity of a nation.

The invisible scars and the trauma that soldiers go through have made the chaplains an indispensable and critical asset of the uniformed forces.

Addressing the chaplains attending the 2nd edition of the SADC Inter-State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC) spiritual and moral support working group conference, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda commended the regional chaplains for their spiritual support and urged them to continuously sharpen their skills.

“Chaplains remain very useful asset to the commanders at all levels and their role cannot be overlooked” he said.

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander also urged the delegates to pray for peace, prosperity and goods rains in the SADC region. The conference also saw Zimbabwe taking over the chairmanship of the organ with Colonel Joseph Nyakudya from the Zimbabwe Defence forces assuming post.

“We should be motivated to go beyond the normal in line with our theme, exceeding the expected” he said.

Out-going Chairperson of the Organ Brigadier General Vincent Mwenya from Zambia Defence Force said the work of the working group is progressing well while Brigadier General Andrew Jamangile from South Africa urged the chaplains to be relevant and to go beyond the expected.

“The sub-working group is progressing positively with its mandated work. We ask all to continue supporting Zimbabwe as the current chair” he noted.

Among other things, the members of the technical working group are there to offer specialized support in the form of counseling, participation in community projects, dealing with combat stress, pastoral support to the people living with HIV/AIDS.