Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Let's All Contribute Positively to Peace, Says Zimbabwe President Mugabe

Let’s all contribute positively to peace — President

Monday, 27 August 2012 00:00
Herald Reporter

Zimbabweans must complement the security services in maintaining peace and stability before and after the general elections, President Mugabe has said.

Speaking at the 2012 President’s Medal Shoot Competition at Cleveland Rifle Range in Harare yesterday, the President urged Zimbabweans to be united and shun violence.

“Maintaining peace is not the responsibility of our security services only but is indeed the responsibility of all citizens. We all can positively contribute to peace and stability through our actions or inaction.

“Since we are preparing ourselves for elections, may I call upon all people to complement the security services in maintaining peace, security and stability.

“May I repeat my call on everyone to shun violence, all the time, but especially before, during and after elections,” he said.

President Mugabe, who is also the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, said no one should take peace for granted.

“In peace time it is easy to forget and even take it (peace) for granted. Recent conflicts in the Maghreb

Region and Mali have vividly demonstrated the folly of taking peace for granted.

“The sudden eruption of war can result in untold suffering, destruction of life and a country’s fundamental infrastructure. Sad stories, caused by strife and conflict, should serve as stark reminders for us to cherish the peace, security and stability that we enjoy,” he said.

The competitions were held under the theme: “Sharpening skills at arms peace, security and stability”.

Turning to the competitions, President Mugabe said while the contests were sport, they were aimed at enhancing marksmanship.

“This is aptly captured in the theme for this year. If they are to be always ready to fulfil their roles, in defence of our country, and in maintaining peace and tranquillity, our forces must continue sharpening their skills, in every way possible, sporting included,” he said.

The President’s Medal shoot, which is national in scope, draws participants from the security services, civilians and liberation war veterans.

This year’s event was co-hosted by the Air Force of Zimbabwe and the President’s Department.

President Mugabe said the participation of civilians promoted “cross-fertilisation” of ideas and experiences.

He said the competitions were getting popular every year with more women participating.

“Also of note is that the number of participants has steadily continued to grow . . . This is clear testimony of growing popularity of the competition enjoyed by both service personnel and civilians.

“I commend the organisers of this competition for taking positive steps in providing equal opportunities to both women and men, which is in line with Zimbabwe’s commitment to advancing gender mainstreaming across the board of all sectors,” he said.

President Mugabe thanked several companies, among them Mbada Diamonds, Liquid Telecom, Holiday Inn, and Multichoice Zimbabwe for donating towards the competition.

He urged the winners to maintain the high standards and discipline they showed during the competition.

“To those who did not make it today, please do not despair, keep on practising aiming for the elusive bull. I am sure one day you will make it.”

Sergeant Admore Amushoni of the AFZ was this year’s overall winner and walked away with a trophy and US$2 200 cash.

He was followed by Corporal John Dzovani and Sergeant Dzingai Chindito from the Zimbabwe National Army.

In the female category, Sergeant Evelyn Fimba (ZNA) scooped the first prize while chief prison officer Sarah Siziba (Zimbabwe Prison Services) came second.

The event was attended by Cabinet ministers, service chiefs and senior Government officials.

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