Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant General Phillip Sibanda has ordered troops to stop the indiscriminate cutting down of trees during military training exercises. He said this while addressing
officers and troops who had completed a peace support training exercise at 5 Brigade in Kwekwe on Thursday.
“I realise you constructed a very nice checkpoint but I am deeply concerned about the trees and grass you destroyed during the process. Let us put a stop to this.
“Just imagine how many small animals like the lizards, snakes, mice and many others that you will be destroying. We need to make sure that future generations will be proud of our deeds and not for them to ridicule us for destroying nature.
“It is the duty of all Zimbabweans to preserve the environment — as soldiers you must take a leading role in this noble initiative. Our country also stands to benefit a lot from the environment since it increases tourism activities,” he said.
Lt Gen Sibanda said many people were looking up to Environmental Management Agency to enforce environmental laws.
He said the training programme was handled in a proper manner and all officers and troops had shown great dedication and commitment.
“My training directive was met to which I am satisfied that the training programme was useful. We embarked on this exercise so that our officers and men are kept up to date with current trends about peacekeeping.
“We had a number of scenarios that happen in peacekeeping such as role of peacekeepers, hostage negotiations, disarming or rebel groups and in rare and extreme circumstances the capturing of peacekeepers.
“The troops showed a greater understanding of the concepts although there are few areas, which need improvement,” he added.
He said the ZNA is rated “good” in international missions as it continues to be invited to other missions.
Lt Gen Sibanda also shared with the officers and troops his experiences while he was force commander in Angola’s UNavem 111 mission.