THE Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Mnangagwa, yesterday promoted two Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) Group Captains to the rank of Air Commodore.
The two new Air Commodores are Maxwell Sakupwanya and Ernest Matsambira. Conferring new insignia of the rank to the newly appointed officers at the AFZ headquarters yesterday, Commander AFZ Air Marshal Elson Moyo said the promotions had been above board and given on merit.
“Promotion in the Air Force of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, at large is based on performance, where only the best are selected through a rigorous process, more so for the promotion to Air ranks such as the one we have just witnessed.
“The two newly promoted Air Commodores, Maxwell Sakupwanya and Ernest Matsambira were attested into the Air Force in 1988 and were on Number 54 Pilot Training Course.
“Over the past years, they have distinguished themselves as proficient and professional pilots and they have also excelled in staff appointments in the Air Force of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Air Marshal Moyo said the injection of new blood would revitalise the AFZ’s top brass while urging the two officers to live up to their billing.
“Promotions such as the one we have witnessed today are also an opportunity for organisational renewal.
“It is anticipated that the injection of new blood will also contribute to the growth and development of the Air Force of Zimbabwe.
“I therefore challenge the newly promoted Air Officers to maintain the highest standards of discipline and to bring in new ideas to spur the organisation forward,” he said.
Air Marshal Moyo added that the AFZ had promoted well qualified personnel to the two posts.
“At the same time there is an important element which is experience, you cannot acquire experience by going to school attending courses and so forth, you gain experience through real practice and this new rank of Air Commodore is a General rank which is a one star General and that comes with a lot of responsibility.
“One is going in as the Director-General Training, the other one is going to be Director-General Inspectorate, those two posts are very demanding,” he said.
In an interview after their appointments, Air Commodore Sakupwanya said he would hit the ground running.
“We are realising that the world in terms of science is changing and we are will cooperate in order to remain relevant in the aviation world,” he said.
Air Commodore Matsambira echoed the same sentiments saying he was ready to serve.
“I am expected to be the eyes and ears of the Commander and ensuring that the materials and human resources in the Air Force are being employed expeditiously so that the organisation retains its combat readiness,” he said.