John Manzongo recently in MUTOKO
Members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces must be allowed to participate in national politics to remain loyal and defend the nation’s territorial integrity and interests. Addressing over 3 000 troops from 2 Brigade undergoing a battlefield training
exercise in Mutoko yesterday, Chief of Staff General Staff, Major General Martin Chedondo said soldiers should be involved in national politics as they are part of politics.
“A national defence force the world over is there to protect the national politics, national integrity, the Executive and other systems that form part of the Government.
“By virtue of this, defence forces automatically become a political animal.
“Soldiers cannot be blind or blinkered on what they are protecting. We have to be alert and know where we came from and where we are going. Politicians must first agree on national ideals, ethos and objectives then differ in tactics but not on the strategic aspect of what Zimbabwe is.
“As soldiers, we will never be apologetic for supporting Zanu-PF because it is the only political party that has national interests at heart,” he said
Maj Gen Chedondo said some politicians were busy fighting for security sector reforms and saying soldiers were not supposed to meddle in the country’s politics.
“The answer that I am giving those politicians who always ask if it is right for soldiers to be partisan is that the defence forces must exhibit the national outlook.
“As soldiers we must never apologise when we are discharging our noble role of protecting the integrity of our nation, hard won independence and our precious resources.
“We cannot be seen supporting a political party that is going against the ideals of a nation, which came by as a result of a liberation struggle, which saw many of the country’s sons and daughters losing their lives.
“As soldiers we must support ideologies that we subscribe to, I for one will not be apologetic for supporting Zanu-PF because I was part of the liberation struggle,” he said.
He said there should be no room to accommodate the enemy because one individual wants to pocket money.
The battle exercise saw troops crossing a dam using speedboats, rafters, canoes and ropes while firing at the “enemy”.