|ZDF loyal to civilian authority: Chiwenga|
|Saturday, 11 August 2012 00:00|
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government that the forces were biased towards Zanu-PF.
Gen Chiwenga said ZDF had remained loyal to the country and authority, despite challenges brought by illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
“The principle of military subordination to civilian authority, which is the cornerstone of professionalism was borne out of the armed struggle and not these theories, which are being talked about that are very nonsensical.
“That principle to civilian authority was borne out of the armed struggle and that is how this country was liberated, which then entails self dedication to serve the people, which was also an attribute gained during the liberation struggle.
“The initiatives in the face of adversity as well as resilience and commitment to duty were also hallmarks of liberation fighters and these are secrets, which have now been passed on to this generation of fighters and will continue to be passed on to generations to come,” he said.
Gen Chiwenga said the ZDF owed its success to liberation war commanders such as Cde Josiah Tongogara, Alfred Nikita Mangena, General Solomon Mujuru, former ZDF commander General Vitalis Zvinavashe and Air Chief Marshall (Josiah) Tungamirai, among others.
“That is absolutely nonsense. Can someone really say one must cut off his history and throw it away?
He said the ZDF had a proven track record that has seen them participate in various peacekeeping missions around the world and said as a force they continued to strive to improve standards as seen by the construction of the National Defence College.
He defended the ZDF decision to engage in business activities, saying this was common practice the world over.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant General Phillip Valerio Sibanda said the army remained resolute in fulfilling its constitutional mandate despite the challenges brought by the illegal sanctions.
“But let me say the economic challenges we have faced are clearly understood by our members and we have vowed as an army that these challenges will not derail our ability to successfully execute our mandate.
On allegations by Finance Minister Tendai Biti that the army was secretly recruiting personnel, Lt Gen Sibanda said ZNA had done everything above board.
Lt-Gen Sibanda said Zimbabweans, especially the youths, needed to appreciate the importance of the Heroes and Defence Forces Days as they signified the supreme sacrifices of gallant sons and daughters of the country.
They are a very important element in our history and it is important that we obviously reflect on the past because it is the past that defines our future.
“It is for all Zimbabweans and we should sit back and reflect on what brought about this independence, it is time to think about those that sacrificed and lost their lives to bring the independence we celebrate today,” he said.
Lt Gen Sibanda urged Zimbabweans to be cognisant of their history.
“We have people who would rather articulate American history, Commonwealth history or imperial British history without wanting to talk about our own history. It’s like our history started in 1980 and this is most unfortunate,” he said.