Abigail Mawonde and Talent Chimutambgi
President Mugabe has promoted three Zimbabwe National Army colonels to the rank of Brigadier-General and 19 Lieutenant Colonels to the rank of full colonels. They were all promoted in line with Section 15 (1) B of the Defence Act Chapter 11:02 with effect from December 18 last year. Addressing the newly-promoted senior officers after the conferment of the ranks at the Army Headquarters in Harare yesterday, Chief of Staff Administrative Staff Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba emphasised the role of military officers in serving the State and abiding by the Constitution.
“As military officers, we are there to serve the State as custodians of our Constitution which has been agreed by the people,” he said. “We are also subservient to civilian authorities.
“You are joining the senior officers’ bracket and what it means is that there is a saying which says, ‘the higher you go, the cooler it becomes’, so the higher you go in terms of promotion means the more challenging things ahead of you.
“On behalf of the Commander-In-Chief of the ZDF, President Mugabe, and Commander Defence Forces, General Constantine Chiwenga and Commander ZNA Lieutenant General Philip Valerio Sibanda, I wish to congratulate you all, you were all deserving promotions.”
Maj Gen Nyikayaramba said the ZNA was compliant with Government’s efforts for gender equality as indicated by the elevation of female officer Lindiwe Ngwenya to the rank of Brigadier General.
Three other female officers were promoted to the rank of colonels.
“We are excited that in response to the Government’s call for gender equality, we continue to see more women joining the hierarchy of the military high command,” said Maj Gen Nyikayaramba. “Here we are looking at Brigadier General Ngwenya as the second woman in the high command after Brigadier General Shylet Moyo, who became the first female General.”
Maj Gen Nyikayaramba urged the newly promoted officers to effectively manage resources since the country is undergoing economic hardships as a result of illegal sanctions. “We are going through a difficult patch in terms of the economic situation in this country,” he said. “You might be aware that as a result of the illegal sanctions, some of the equipment bought in the various units need to be looked after well.
“This will enable that equipment to extend its life-span in terms of its durability.” The new Brigadier Generals are Lindiwe Ngwenya, Cephas Gurira and Godfrey Mupita.
The new Colonels are Luckymore Mkurazhizha, Juliet Chitsungo, Tendai Mandizvidza, Samuel Mpabanga, Vitali Chigume, Levy Moyo, Zitterson Sabeka, Paradzai Marovanidze, Tamuka Shoko, Canaan Chimudzeka, Kenneth Chihumba, Naboth Manyau, Richard Mapanda, Jones Marodza, Aaron Edwards, Arnold Gumbo, Maxwell Masuku, Archford Muteranduwa and Albert Malamo.
On behalf of the newly-promoted members, Col Manyau expressed appreciation to President Mugabe for the higher responsibility they were conferred with. “We want to commit ourselves to do the best that we can to uphold the discipline in the ZNA and will come up with some innovations to make sure that discipline is enforced,” he said.