ZDF hailed for shielding nation against foes

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), with its well-trained personnel who are ever alive to external threats, remains the country’s shield against the neo-colonial onslaught and machinations by erstwhile detractors and former colonisers, President Mnangagwa has said.

He made the remarks yesterday while presiding over the graduation of Joint Command and Staff Course number 36 at Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare.

The graduation ceremony was the first after the Zimbabwe Staff College recently established the Zimbabwe National Defence University in line with the vision of the Second Republic of establishing a national strategic think tank.

President Mnangagwa said it was worth noting that the ZDF continued to excel as guarantors of peace and security in line with the Constitution.

“As the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, you remain the epitome of our resistance to the neo-colonial onslaught and machinations by our erstwhile detractors and former colonisers. It is gratifying that the Zimbabwe Staff College, through its curriculum, continues to nurture students in this rich heritage,” he said.

“We recognise and remain proud that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces continue to excel as guarantors of peace and security in line with the Constitution.”

Continued investment by the Government in the education and training of the defence forces, he said, was bearing fruit and having far reaching benefits for the region and continent at large.

“We recognise and remain proud that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces continue to excel as guarantors of peace and security in line with our national Constitution.”

“This track record and culture of hard work, vigilance, zeal, commitment and professionalism as well as your collective patriotic and Pan-African spirit must be continuously entrenched across all our security-related training institutions.”

President Mnangagwa said the inclusion of academic programmes in the ZDF education and training was a welcome development in the quest to upscale research, innovation and development which were key in responding to 21st century threats.

“I am pleased that the training and education programmes being offered by this higher military training institution dovetail with the heritage-based Education 5.0 model being implemented by my Government.

“It is commendable, therefore, that the Staff College, which is an associate member of the Zimbabwe National Defence University, has adapted the course modules in line with the ongoing focus on research, innovation, science and technology development.

“This has equipped officers with the requisite capacity to respond to a wide range of traditional and non-traditional security threats,” he said.

The Head of State and Government, said the military exchange programmes with States in the region and continent at large went a long way towards promoting a holistic and complementary approach to defence and security issues adding that nations needed to share lessons on current problems facing Africa.

“Similarly, the growing trans-national nature of armed conflicts in Africa and internationalisation of intra-state conflicts bring to the fore the need to share lessons with regards peace building, conflict prevention, management and resolution in our sub-region and the continent as a whole.

“The participation of students drawn from countries such as Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia and Nigeria is applauded.

“Such participation will undoubtedly enhance collective regional security and contribute to the silencing of guns on the continent,” he said.

The emerging intricacies related to the impact of natural resource conflicts on Africa’s peace and security; together with climate change, organised crime, technological developments and natural disasters, among other factors, demanded officers be thoroughly equipped to understand contemporary peace and security challenges, beyond the military domain.

On the economic front, he said, the defence forces remained critical cogs for a peaceful and enabling environment for sustainable social and economic development.

“The Zimbabwe Defence Forces must equally remain alive to developments across all sectors of the economy as we move towards Vision 2030, and how these will impact our peace and security architecture.

“I hope that the tours undertaken as part of this course gave you all the requisite insights into the major industries driving our economy,” he said.

President Mnangagwa extended special appreciation to the People’s Republic of China, for continuing to render technical assistance to the Zimbabwe Staff College through the secondment of military training staff.

“Zimbabwe’s history is embedded in the liberation struggle to which China played a pivotal role. To date, the relations between Zimbabwe and China continue to deepen across all sectors, under the Strategic and Comprehensive Partnership framework, for shared prosperity,” he said.

He also applauded Angola, Eswatini, Kenya, Mozambique and Namibia, the countries to which the course undertook external study tours saying the visits there were invaluable and helped broaden the comprehension and conceptualisation of defence and security from a bilateral and multilateral perspective.

The graduates, he said, should remain steadfast, patriotic and pan-African in thoughts and deeds and desist from being swayed by misguided elements, who seek to reverse the gains which the forebearers of nations, the region and continent fought for.

Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Service Chiefs from the security sector establishments, senior Government officials and diplomats attended the graduation ceremony.


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