Friday, November 27, 2015

President Hails Sino-Zimbabwe Ties
November 27, 2015
Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

President Mugabe yesterday hailed the cordial relations between Zimbabwe and China, ahead of the historic visit by President Xi Jinping who is due in Harare early next week.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony of Joint Command and Staff Number 28 students who graduated with diplomas in Defence and Security Studies at the Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare, President Mugabe described China as an all-weather friend.

“Education, being a co-operative venture, requires a number of people having to combine their efforts, skills and expertise in instructing students,” he said.

“Let me single out a demonstration of such co-operation between Zimbabwe National Army and our all-weather friends from China, who provided invaluable technical assistance and the University of Zimbabwe, who provided able and professional lecturers.”

China has proved to be the country’s key political and economic ally by check mating the bullying of Zimbabwe by Western countries at international forums, including at the United Nations.

President Mugabe last year visited China where the two countries signed a number of mega agreements that will see the Asian giant providing financial and technical assistance in infrastructure development in the areas transport, agriculture, water, tourism and power generation.

Relations between the two countries date back to the time of the liberation struggle when China provided material and training for liberation war fighters.

The visit by president Xi on Tuesday next week is expected to take the relations a step further and help transform the political relations into tangible economic programmes of action.

During the visit, President Xi and President Mugabe will witness the signing of several mega deals that are expected to transform the outlook of the Zimbabwean economy.

At the graduation ceremony, President Mugabe hailed the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for continuing to foster and cement strong military co-operation which has seen the institution enrolling students from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia.

“Such military training co-operation provides an opportunity for the cross-fertilisation of ideas and experiences, as well as development of mutual trust among the forces of Sadc countries,” he said.

“This, in turn, consolidates collective regional security integration. No doubt, graduands who have been good ambassadors for their countries as they trained here, will continue to be good ambassadors of Zimbabwe when they return to their respective countries.”

President Mugabe bemoaned plagiarism at all educational levels, saying if it was left unchecked and undetected in could corrode the quality of the country’s education, especially in tertiary institutions.

The training intake of Staff Course 28, made up of candidates from the Zimbabwe National Army, Airforce of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Central Intelligence Organisation and Sadc forces, started with 55 officers but four fell by the wayside when they produced plagiarised work.

“Since in all academic circles plagiarism is, or should be regarded as an academic crime, it is viewed seriously, and is never condoned,” said President Mugabe. “Where detected, punishment is swiftly executed.”

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and service chiefs attended the ceremony.

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