Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sanctions Hamper Empowerment in Zimbabwe, Says Brig.-Gen. Nyikayaramba

Sanctions hamper empowerment: Nyikayaramba

Herald Reporter

Zimbabwe’s efforts to economically empower the people are being hampered by illegal Western sanctions, a senior army officer has said.

In his farewell speech at the handover-takeover ceremony of the 2 Infantry Brigade command in Harare on Thursday, Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba said the army would continue working for national reconstruction.

Brig-Gen Nyikayaramba leaves 2 Infantry Brigade to take over command of 3 Infantry Brigade in Mutare.

The new 2 Infantry Brigade commander is Brig-Gen Francis Mtisi, who previously headed 4 Infantry Brigade in Masvingo.

"These are trying times in which the illegal sanctions have taken their toll on all designed programmes but as soldiers, we pledge not to succumb to them. If anything, we have become more hardened, robust and aggressive to provide the much-needed credible deterrence, we will forge ahead," he said.

Brig-Gen Nyikayaramba said the army would assist Government safeguard natural resources.

"We will assist in national issues such as guarding our diamonds in Marange because we are aware they can play a pivotal role in turning around our economy," he said.

Brig-Gen Mtisi said the army would always foster an environment of tolerance and treat citizens with dignity and respect.

"We want to establish a good relationship with communities as we did during the protracted armed struggle. We fought supporting each other in every way," he said.

He paid tribute to provincial governors and traditional leaders for working closely with the army in developing Zimbabwe.

Harare Metropolitan Governor and Resident Minister David Karimanzira said members of the uniformed forces who had not yet been given land would soon be resettled.

He said the land should be put to good use for the nation’s benefit.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces yesterday reiterated their commitment to observing international laws governing combat situations.

This was said by the deputy secretary for policy, public relations and international affairs in the Defence Ministry, Mr Patrick Machaya, at the handover of 5 000 handbooks on the code of conduct for combatants and information communication technology equipment donated by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

"The ZDF has always valued the preservation of human life, property, cultural values and beliefs of its adversaries. The past conflicts that the ZDF has participated in have been commended by local population where the ZDF has operated.

"The ZDF has always and will continue to execute its operations with the strictest observance of the code of conduct of combatants," Mr Machaya said.

He commended the strong ties between the ZDF and ICRC.

ICRC regional delegate Mr Thomas Merkelbach said: "Our work over the years has focused on training in international humanitarian law for officers at training institutions throughout the country."

Also yesterday, the Zimbabwe National Army Schools and Welfare Trust distributed 11 computers to ZDF schools.

ZNASWT board chairperson Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu urged the corporate sector to assist in computerising schools.

"We are struggling to provide adequate computer hardware and software to all our formal schools."

ZNA Commander Lieutenant-General Philip Valerio Sibanda said children must be introduced to information technology at a tender age.

"School children must make use of these computers so that they will benefit and not to use them for playing games," he said.

The schools that will benefit include Magunje Primary and Secondary Schools, 3 Brigade Primary School, Induna Primary Scool, Dzivarasekwa Primary School, Masvingo Primary School and Parachute Regiment Primary School.

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