Saturday, November 26, 2011

Zimbabwe Defense Forces Commended For Strengthening SADC Relations

ZDF commended for strengthening Sadc relations

Saturday, 26 November 2011 00:00
Herald Reporter

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday hailed the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for their role in strengthening ties with other Sadc countries by enrolling officers from the region in its training programmes.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the ZDF, said this while officiating at the graduation of 54 officers - including 13 from Sadc countries - in the Joint Command Staff Course (Number 24) at the Zimbabwe Staff College.

"I am gratified to note the role our Defence Forces continue to play in fostering and cementing relationships in the sub-region through enrolling students from Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia," he said.

The President commended Mozambique for participating in the course for the first time and urged the Staff College to enroll more students from other Sadc countries.

"It is my wish to see the college enrolling more students from the entire 14-member Sadc region. Exchange of ideas and experiences among our respective Defence Forces will help to nurture mutual trust not only among the Defence Forces but our respective Governments and people as well.

"This is a salient virtue in our efforts towards achieving total collective regional security and economic integration," President Mugabe said.

He said since independence in 1980, Government had prioritised education and skills development with the ZDF also keeping pace with the rest of the country in enhancing the quality of its officers through training programmes such as the Joint Command and Staff Course.

The President said the ZDF had excelled locally and internationally in guaranteeing peace and security because of its high levels of professionalism.

"The high standard of training and development that exists in the ZDF renders the credentials of its commanders, officers and men unquestionable.

"They are an epitome of our resistance to colonialism, exploitation, plunder and abuse of the people of Zimbabwe and shall therefore remain uncompromised.

"I am grateful that the Zimbabwe Staff College through its curriculum, continues to inculcate the spirit of nationalism, patriotism and loyalty into its students," he said.

President Mugabe said the ZDF was the vanguard of Zimbabwe's revolution, freedom and democracy.

The President also commended China, Ghana, Tanzania and Malaysia for assisting the graduates when they embarked on study tours in their respective countries.

He lauded China for seconding its officers to train the officers at the Staff College and the general assistance it has rendered to Zimbabwe over the years.

"We solemnly appreciate their progressive stance of co-operating with Zimbabwe when the other parts of the world are vigorously seeking to isolate us," he said.

The President urged the students to use the knowledge they acquired to defend the country's independence and sovereignty and defence of their respective national interests.

The Joint Command Staff Course equi-pped the officers with knowledge of international humanitarian law, law of armed conflict, peace support operations, civil power and low intensity operations and an understanding of global political issues.

Meanwhile, the students gave the President a painting of a house he used to live in when he was in Ghana during the liberation struggle and a planter as recognition of his desire to empower indigenous people through the land reform programme.

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