Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
The Second Republic is committed to nurturing and promoting young officers into the command structure of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), President Mnangagwa has said.
The President, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), made the remarks while officiating at the Joint Command Staff Course Number 33 at Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare yesterday.
At least 156 officers graduated during the event, with 131 graduating with diplomas in defence and security studies from the University of Zimbabwe (UZ).
President Mnangagwa was accompanied by Defence and War Veterans Affairs Acting Minister Kazembe Kazembe, Commander Defence Forces, General Phillip Valerio Sibanda, and other service chiefs.
In his remarks, the President commended the commandant for directing staff to adjust the learning environment in compliance with Covid-19 mitigatory measures prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“I am honoured to preside over this graduation ceremony of the Joint Command Staff Course Number 33, confirming the Second Republic’s commitment to nurture and train young officers into the command structure of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,” he said.
“The Zimbabwe Staff College as a strategic national military institution is applauded for implementing reforms towards capacity building, manpower and skills development.
“This is in keeping with its mandate and further contributes to the attainment of a knowledge-based economy and Vision 2030.”
President Mnangagwa hailed the academic and professional development of the ZDF, which is expected to play an integral part in the country’s quest to attain an upper middle income society by 2030.
In line with professional development, the students visited some major industries to appreciate what they were defending, as well as appreciate achievements and challenges in the economy.
The course attracted participants from the region and beyond, a collaboration President Mnangagwa said was critical in promoting sustainable peace and strengthening the ideals of Pan Africanism.
“The diverse students aptly demonstrate the region’s successful efforts in promoting peace and security through the exchange of ideas and sharing experiences,” he said.
“Our efforts towards achieving regional security, stability and economic integration are undoubtedly enhanced by this kind of co-operation among our armed forces.
“This interaction of defence and security, builds a firm foundation upon which durable peace and stability can be achieved.”
Participants of the course were drawn from countries such as Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Nigeria.
President Mnangagwa said the regional solidarity remains an arsenal for dealing with acts of terrorism and other attacks threatening the region.
He said Zimbabwe remained grateful to the People’s Republic of China following the upgrading of relations between the two countries.
Through its collaboration with the University of Zimbabwe and Chinhoyi University of Technology, the Zimbabwe Staff College has been told to ride on the ongoing transformation of higher and tertiary education through the Education 5.0 model.
President Mnangagwa urged the servicemen and women to remain resolute in defence of their respective national development aspirations.
“Never be swayed away from your sacred oath by misguided and misinformed personalities who seek to reverse the gains of the freedom and democracy which we fought for,” he said.
The Commandant of the Zimbabwe Staff College, Brigadier General Joel Muzvidziwa, said the institution remained committed to nurturing graduates who were patriotic, competent and loyal.
Brig Gen Muzvidziwa said the graduates were now better officers, grounded and ready to add value to their respective institutions on completion of the course.
He said the Zimbabwe Staff College was committed to providing standard and high quality education to its students, thanking the ZDF command hierarchy for the support in empowering the institution.
One of the graduates, Major Luckmore Mubaira, said the course equipped them for greater responsibility in both command and staff appointments.
Squadron Leader Tawanda Zowa, who distinguished himself in air power, thanked the ZDF command element for the course, which he said helped in promoting a complete soldier that delivered.