Saturday, 18 May 2013

Liberation struggle to shape nation’s destiny: President


President Mugabe hands over the Best Allied student award to Namibian 2nd Lt Ritva Shando at Zimbabwe Millitary Academy in Gweru yesterday
Farirai Machivenyika in GWERU
THE liberation struggle remains critical in shaping the country’s future, the President has said. He urged Zimbabweans
to appreciate the sacrifices made by freedom fighters in liberating Zimbabwe.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said this during the pass-out parade of regular officer cadets (Course Number 3/29/11) at the Zimbabwe Military Academy in Gweru yesterday.
“We should always remember that thousands paid the supreme sacrifice with their lives, while others are still living with visible physical and mental scars arising from brutalities perpetrated by the white settler regime.
“All Zimbabweans must understand that our liberation struggle remains a permanent rallying point in shaping the country’s destiny.
It is therefore important that we must pay tribute to the role played by these heroes, both living and deceased, who sacrificed their lives by participating in the liberation struggle.”
The President commended the military academy for its role in moulding competent military personnel.
“Today’s graduation ceremony demonstrates yet again the ZMA’s resolve, commitment and strides made in fulfilling its mandate and mission of identifying and moulding young men and women of our country into competent and professional junior officers in the ZDF.
“I am indeed gratified to note that since the attainment of our independence and sovereignty in 1980, this is the 29th commissioning parade of the regular officer cadet course to take place at this institution of military excellence,” he said.
A total of 73 officers, including eight females and five others from the Namibian Defence Forces, graduated yesterday.
“To our Namibian friends, you came, you saw and emerged victorious. Today you are officers in your own right. You return to Namibia as our ambassadors since you now have a better understanding of the ZMA, the ZDF and indeed Zimbabwe as a whole.
“Zimbabwe and Namibia share a common history and remain bound together by our strong principles of self-determination and democracy.”
The President commended the ZMA administration for continuing with its work in the face of resource constraints.
“It is most pleasing to note that the ZMA continues to carry out its mandate and responsibility of educating and training junior officers in order to provide the nation with future military leaders of exemplary character and loyalty.
“This is despite the economic challenges facing our country which have resulted in reduced funding for many Government programmes. I am aware that these challenges also affected the Academy, but due to the commitment by the Academy’s staff, you have soldiered on,” he said.
The course was divided into three phases, among them soldering skills, conventional warfare and low intensity operations.
Subjects covered include drill, field craft, map reading, communication, command and leadership, administration, military law, service writing, first aid and civil military relations.
Yesterday’s graduates became the third to attain Diplomas in Military Training and Education done in conjunction with the Midlands State University.
“This is a positive development for the academy which should in the near future enable cadets to graduate with degrees.
May I applaud the MSU for maintaining good relations with the ZMA, I urge both institutions to continue their close collaboration and come up with a degree programme for the officer cadets in the not too distant future,” President Mugabe said.
Second Lieutenant Tafadzwa Carter Gunje emerged the best student and received the Sword of Honour from President Mugabe.
The course started with an initial enrollment of 165 on August 15, 2011 and 86 dropped out after failing to cope with the gruelling physical demands, academic inadequacies, indiscipline and illness.
Four other officer cadets, Blessings Doba, Desire Mapedze, Tafadzwa Manhobo and Thamsanqa Hakatani died during the early stages of the course.
President Mugabe consoled the families of the deceased saying the ZDF and nation had lost as a whole.
Meanwhile, President Mugabe commended the ZMA for running a basic officers’ course for Mozambican Armed Forces from October 29, 2012 to April 12, this year.

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