AFZ cheers up the elderly at Bumhudzo Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) Deputy Base Commander Group Captain Maxwell Sakupwanya hands over a blanket to Aleck Nganima, a 99-year-old resident at Bumhudzo Old People’s Home in Chitungwiza yesterday. AFZ’s donation is part of Zimbabwe Defence Forces’ Community assistance ahead of ZDF Day. — Picture: Kudakwashe Hunda.

Talent Chimutambgi Herald Reporter

The Airforce of Zimbabwe (AFZ) has donated goods worth thousands of US dollars to Bumhudzo Old People’s Home in Chitungwiza as part of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) peacetime mandate.

The gesture dovetails with President Mnangagwa’s mantra of “leaving no place and no one behind” as the elderly are the most vulnerable group in communities.

This week is most critical to the ZDF as they visit various groups of people identifying people in need and extending a helping hand to them ahead of the celebrations slated next week Tuesday.

Bumhudzo Old People’s home was established in 1974 under the aegis of The Salvation Army with the thrust to cater for the elderly people above 65 years of age.

Currently, the home accommodates 26 elderly people among them 16 males and the remainder being females. The number has dwindled due to resource constraints. Ordinarily, the permit allows them to house at least 55 people.

The donations, which were handed over by Group Captain Maxwell Sakupwanya representing the AFZ included groceries, sundries as well as clothes and blankets.

In his speech, Grp Capt Sakupwanya said the community assistance projects spearheaded by the AFZ were complemented by the charity projects they undertake under the umbrella of the Commander AFZ Air Marshal Elson Moyo.

Grp Capt Sakupwanya said the donation was part of ZDF’s peacetime mandate to embrace development in the country in order to attain national goals.

“Annually, during the ZDF community assistance week, the military embarks on several projects where it assists communities in line with its Constitutional mandate to protect Zimbabwe, its people, its national security and interests, its territorial integrity and to uphold the constitution.

“It is also part of the ZDF peacetime mandate to embrace development in the country by extending a helping hand to communities.

“The community assistance projects by the Air Force of Zimbabwe are complemented by charity projects that we undertake under the umbrella of the Commander Air Force of Zimbabwe Charity Fund. The fund was established to mobilise resources to assist the less privileged people and communities in Zimbabwe,” said Group Cpt Sakupwanya.

“The combined efforts by the Air Force of Zimbabwe community assistance initiatives and the charity fund projects have ensured that we reach out to as many needy people and communities as possible in Zimbabwe in identifying the deserving people and communities.”

Group Cpt Sakupwanya said they had partnered with some local universities to undertake needs assessment studies as well as local knowledge from their officers to guide in the identification process of needy areas.

In his acceptance speech, Bumhudzo Old People’s Home projects officer Major Lovemore Meda, a member of The Salvation Army, applauded the military and complemented their role in ensuring peace and security in the country since the advent of the ZDF in 1980.

“We are proud of you soldiers for the role you are undertaking to ensure peace and tranquility in the country. Since the guns fell silent at independence, we never had incidences which threaten the lives of the general populace,” said Maj Meda.

“I want to express my gratitude to the AFZ and the entire ZDF for having us in mind during this difficult times. It’s so amazing that you have complemented our resources. We are operating under a stressful budget. What you brought to us will go a long way in augmenting our resources,” he said.

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