The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) continues with its special community
programmes across the country, the traditional early August prelude to
Defence Forces Day, and its members were in Mashonaland East, Mashonaland
Central and Mashonaland West provinces yesterday.
In Chikomba district, Mashonaland East, the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ)
donated an assortment of medical items and deployed its medical personnel
at Rutanhira Clinic to help in the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination
AFZ medical personnel are already with other defence forces teams deployed
countrywide to assist Government in the vaccination programme.
Speaking in Chikomba yesterday, Manyame Base Commander Air Commodore
Elisha Felix Masakadza said as a prelude to the Defence Forces Day
celebrations in August, the defence forces dedicate the first week of that
month to go out and assist communities across Zimbabwe.
Air Commodore Masakadza said the items donated yesterday were for
different purposes meant to help staff at the clinic.
“We must accept that it is not an easy undertaking to extend a helping
hand during such hard times when the nation and world at large are so
strained by this ravaging Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“On the same note, as we handover this assortment of medical items, we
have also vaccinated people in this community as part of our fight against
Covid-19 pandemic. Our medical staff moved in on August 1 and shall be
here until August 6 (today).”
Air Commodore Masakadza said it had been observed that there was a low
uptake of Covid-19 vaccines in rural areas, hence the Airforce involvement
to boost the number of vaccinated people in rural areas.
“Today’s efforts stand as a testimony of the promise the Commander of the
Air Force of Zimbabwe made,” he said. “I am proud to say the numbers that
I have seen here today getting vaccinated are enough evidence that our
communities have citizens vaccinated against Covid-19.
“As the ZDF, we are committed to the welfare of the people that we
protect. This has been done to enhance civil-military relations during
this Defence Forces Community Assistance Week.”
Air Commodore Masakadza pleaded with the beneficiaries to put to good use
the medical items.
Chikomba Central MP, who is also Transport and Infrastructural Development
Minister Felix Mhona, who was represented by Mr Lovemore Masunungure, said
the donation and seconding of defence forces personnel was a clear sign of
the good relations that exist between the Government and communities.
“This is not the first time the AFZ has donated at the clinic which is in
the rural area of the late national hero, (former) AFZ Commander Air Chief
Marshall Perrance Shiri. We are glad about him being remembered.”
Councillor Tinashe Manyewe applauded the AFZ for extending a helping hand.
Chief Mutekedza, Mr Andrew Zhakata, also hailed the AFZ for its continued
mutual relations with the people.
Zanu PF Central Committee member Cde Regina Chigweremba said the ruling
party was always ready to work with development partners.
In Hwedza district, also in Mashonaland East, the ZDF targets to vaccinate
over 5 000 people.
Speaking during the tour of Wedza Rural District Hospital, Commander 2
Infantry Brigade, Brigadier-General Mpulaeng Siziba said: “Our medical
staff have been deployed all over in a bid to reach remote areas. We have
received 5 500 vaccines to vaccinate people in Hwedza.”
District Medical Officer, Dr Herbert Bandiki, thanked the army for its
In Mashonaland West, the ZDF is targeting the vaccination of 3 000 people
in Makonde, Sanyati and Zvimba districts as part of the ZDF Community
The team embarked on a two-day vaccination drive per district starting
yesterday, target 800 people per district.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care will support whenever possible.
Mashonaland West nursing officer, Mr Farayi Marufu, who visited the
Mhangura vaccination centre in the company of acting provincial medical
director, Dr Gift Masoja, said the move by the ZDF was welcome.
There was a huge turnout at Mhangura Bazaars Shopping Centre in the same
province yesterday where over 410 people were vaccinated.
Mhangura legislator Cde Precious Chinhamo-Masango praised the ZDF for
helping the community.
A resident, Ms Patience Muswewemombe, who was waiting to be vaccinated
said she decided to take up the jab after realising that President
Mnangagwa, his deputy Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and ministers
had led by example by being jabbed.