via Let’s focus on development, says Chiwenga | The Herald September 12, 2015
Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Dr Constantine Chiwenga has called on Zimbabweans to put behind the debilitating effects of Western imposed sanctions and work for the development of the country.
Gen Chiwenga was addressing beneficiaries of the Zimbabwe National Army and sadc Special Forces community assistance programme here on Wednesday.
“We are all aware of the tough road we have travelled as a country in the past years because of the sanctions imposed by our detractors,” said Gen Chiwenga.
“However, we want that time to be in our past. We want to move forward as a country. That means coming together in one accord from those in the august House of Parliament, the judiciary and every one of us to take our country forward.”
Gen Chiwenga said it was only Zimbabweans who could extricate themselves from the sanctions through collective hard work. He said Zimbabwe was the only country that managed to liberate itself, redistribute land, take full control of its natural resources and refuse to embrace homosexuality.
Gen Chiwenga said thousands of people lost their lives during the liberation war as a seal of the nation’s resolve to guard it from returning to colonisers.
“Right now, major problems for the country are behind us, but what we now need is to move forward as a nation,” he said. “There are those who belittle what has been done in this country. It is not easy, it takes bravery.”
Turning to the community assistance programme from which hundreds of Kariba residents have received free treatment, Gen Chiwenga said defence forces will continue to assist the community.
The outreach programme involves doctors, nurses and other health personnel from the sadc Special Forces who are participating in a training course called Exercise Mahombekombe.
The medical personnel from the regional forces are offering free treatment and consultations.
The training exercise is meant to improve the sadc Special Forces which will feed into a sadc standby force for rapid response to any hot spots in the region. The regional force will subsequently feed into the African Union standby force where each of the five regions in Africa is expected to contribute 5 000 troops.
Gen Chiwenga said peace in sadc member States was paramount for development, citing challenges involving ISIS, Boko Haram and disturbances in North Africa as impediments for development.
Gen Chiwenga, who was accompanied by Zimbabwe National Army commander Lieutenant General Philip Valerio Sibanda, Air Force of Zimbabwe commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri and commanders from participating regional countries, visited Nyamhunga Clinic and Kariba Hospital where the forces will offer assistance.