Army warns destabilisers • . . . ready to defend, uphold Constitution • Troops trained to counter cyber warfare

Source: Army warns destabilisers • . . . ready to defend, uphold Constitution • Troops trained to counter cyber warfare | The Herald August 5, 2016

Felex Share : Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant-General Philip Valerio Sibanda yesterday said the army was ready to deal with malcontents and the country’s detractors using electronic gadgets to mobilise people to do unlawful activities. In an interview with The Herald ahead of the 36th Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day commemorations on Tuesday, Lt-Gen Sibanda said insurgent groups were now resorting to cyber warfare, hence the need for the security sector to increase alertness.His remarks come in the wake of recent attempts by Western-funded shadowy groups to destabilise the country by posting inflammatory messages on social media.

Western embassies — principally the United States, Britain and France — have been implicated as sponsors of the violent demonstrations.

“We are already dealing with these threats,” Lt-Gen Sibanda said.

“As an army, at our institutions of training, we are training our officers to be able to deal with this new threat we call cyber warfare where weapons — not necessarily guns but basically information and communication technology — are being used to mobilise people to do the wrong things. We will be equal to the task when the time comes. The most important function, as outlined in the Constitution is to protect Zimbabwe, its people, national security, territorial integrity and to uphold the Constitution.”

“To deal with the important task of protecting Zimbabwe, we have to organise and train the army,” he said.

“We do not train or organise when there is war going on. We prepare and plan for wars before they happen. The major task we are undertaking now is that of training and preparing the army for whatever eventuality the country might face.”

On threats posed by Mozambique’s rebel movement, Renamo, Lt-Gen Sibanda said for now there was no army deployment into the neighbouring country, except border control operations.

“We are not undertaking any specific operations against Renamo but we continue with border control operations and in the process monitor what is happening on our borders with Mozambique and those countries neighbouring us,” he said.

“This is part of our support to civil power. On plans to deploy, (Defence) Minister (Sydney Sekeramayi) and Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander (General Constantino Chiwenga) have made pronouncements on the situation in Mozambique and our stance suffice to say we continue to monitor that situation and prepare ourselves in the event that Renamo crosses the border. We will certainly be in a position to deal with that situation.”

On the future of the ZNA, he said: “I would like to see an army that is well provided for that is in terms of personal kit for the troops, equipment for them to undertake their tasks. I would like to see an army that is more effective and efficient than we are right now, an army respected by both friend and foe.”

Lt-Gen Sibanda said ZNA would continue with community assistance programmes with a number of projects being commissioned this year.

He said resources remained a challenge in the face of the economic sanctions regime the country is grappling with.

“We are doing quite well considering the prevailing economic situation,” he said.

“This year we have in the region of about 22 projects that are being handed over during the course of this week. We have another 25 to be handed over between end of August and beginning of December. I need to say that we are also happy with the support we are getting from the corporate world and communities. Some of these community projects are in partnership with some corporate entities like CBZ and FBC. Others are coming on board,” he said.


  • comment-avatar
    colonel jack ebony Mandebvu.... my war time name 6 years ago

    People want food at the table no amount of threats can silence Zimbabweans you understand Phil..uzvibate..

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    tonyme 6 years ago

    Is the au a ZANU extension or not?

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    mandevu 6 years ago

    to be honest it would make change if the army did uphold the constitution – that way we would be rid of Zanu PF

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    mandevu 6 years ago

    hey sibanda, surely you could come up with something better than the above, its all a load of b=====it

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    Takudzwa Chinyani 6 years ago

    Is he suggesting that Zimbabweans are at war? Last I checked, the Constitution affords me free speech and the right to demonstrate. It is alleged that the west is sponsoring social media. What about the sponsorship you got from the west last month when they bankrolled your salary? Do you even realize the ubserdity of such verbal vomit? I see now the reason why you are the muscle and not the brain. The truth is that with you have mo tools to stop social media. It is social, not state controlled or regulated both of which would drain whatever resources are left.

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    Chidumbu 6 years ago

    now there are no more farms to give out and cash is short and the army not paid on time, you might find you are speaking for yourself

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    Reverend 6 years ago

    Sibanda you have brought the war to the people of Zimbabwe! A bad decision Mr.! You are going to expect your soldiers to kill their mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, friends and family !? You are an evil man, and you will find your men will not follow your commands I don’t care how good you think they are!

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    Mugabe, just like Mao or Lenin, will not be the messiah of Zimbabwe’s economy or future. He played his role as one among those that saw the last days of the war – and please note; he did not start the war nor was he ever the main actor during the war.

    We will also have our own Deng Xiaoping or Michael Gobachevs and Mugabe’s name will fade into the twilight just as Chinese and Russians today talk faintly about their own Maos and Gobachevs. The difference though is that in the case of Zimbabwe, the vision isn’t there and the so called Mao is busy feathering his own nest, perhaps realising that for 36years in power, he has no legacy to leave behind for his own children- worse for the country. The man has feigned highly intelligent by using dictionaries and internet searched sound bites and help from Manheru to write his speeches over the years. He has spent long hours rehearsing his reading skills…but that’s all. Speeches about things he knows ZILCH about. Look at PSYCHOMOTOR. When said he uses this groaning ascent that sounds like he is in the bathroom, “kuti zvityise” and then since 1999, the country is importing everything under the sun, the economy decimated…while he keeps talking and groaning and now even falling! He is and has been a big LIABILITY to the nation state; but a big asset to the thieves and plunderers. Yes, the Zanu PF zealots and Chinese and Russians have stolen like there is no tomorrow. The major beneficiary, as stated in the War vets communique is none other than ZIM MAO himself. That is why he can afford to leave the country, commandeer Air Zim to Singapore to see his daughter give birth while our mothers and fathers are wheel-barrowed to “drug bereft clinics and hospitals”.