Kudakwashe Mugari Deputy News Editor
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has urged the nation to remain united and support Government policies in finding lasting solutions to current challenges and the attainment of Vision 2030. Speaking during the commissioning parade for 149 officer cadets at the 35th Commissioners’ Cadet Ceremony at the Zimbabwe Military Academy (ZMA) in Gweru yesterday, the President urged the nation to embrace the new dispensation to ensure sustainable economic growth.
“My Government is presently in a phase of transition which is geared to put our country back on the rails of development.
“In our politics, economy and society in general, our country has been stuck in the old way of doing things. This has held us back as a nation for too long. We must embrace the new, to ensure sustainable economic growth that will develop our country and speedily improve the standard of living of all people,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the road to recovery will be bumpy but through resilience and unity, Zimbabweans will enjoy the fruits as a country.
“The journey towards the attainment of Vision 2030, requires us to have common ideals, convictions and unity of purpose.
“As I have saidthe road will not be easy and requires sacrifices by all of us. Let us collectively determine to build a modern, industrialised, stronger and more prosperous Zimbabwe, for both present and future generations,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said even if the road to recovery gets bumpy, Government will not take short cuts to prosperity. He urged all progressive forces to pull in one direction and have the interests of the country at heart.
“We cannot and should not take short cuts for political expediency. Our economics and politics must be that which puts national interests above individual or group interests.
“My Government will continue to put in place an environment that ensures the long term benefits of all citizens of our great country.
“As we implement the broad economic reform policies, we will also put in place the appropriate safety nets to cushion the most vulnerable members of society.
“I, therefore, urge all of us to remain resolute and play our part in line with the Transitional Stabilization Programme and our quest to attain vision 2030,” the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces said.
President Mnangagwa commended the ZDF for remaining vigilant and loyal as Government works towards solutions to current challenges.
“I further, recognize the unflinching resilience of the Defence Forces in general, who have remained loyal, focused and dedicated as my Government seeks to find lasting solutions to the currents challenges facing the forces.
“I assure you all that my government remains seized with the need to address the housing backlog among other issues affecting our public service, including the uniformed forces.”
Of the 149 officers graduated with a Diploma in Military Training and Education in association with Midlands State University, 35 were female.
Overall best cadet Nobesuthu Moyo, a female, got a sword of honour and US$500 from the President. Second best cadet Itai Katsega got US$300, and third placed Lloyd Mbonisi US$200.
President Mnangagwa said the Second Republic offers many opportunities for women.
“I encourage them (female cadet officers) to always draw strength and inspiration, throughout their professional journey, from the resolve and determination that saw them completes this demanding course.
“Under the second republic, my Government will continue to ensure that women reach their full potential, with no glass ceilings. With hard work, zeal and perseverance anything is achievable, regardless of one’s gender.
“I commend the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for continuing to strive for gender equity in line with our country’s gender policy which calls for equal opportunities,” he said.
President Mnangagwa praised the marriage between the military and MSU for churning out officers who are able to deal with contemporary threats.
“Academic partnerships of this nature must always ensure that the graduates of this academy are equipped to deal with a broad spectrum of contemporary threats and opportunities within the security architecture.
“Hence, bold, astute, innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets must equally be inculcated within the military domain.
“Wide ranging capabilities and talents of our cadets must therefore be constantly explored as we quest to build a stronger and modern defence forces.
“I commend the academy for its resource fullness and persistence in the fulfilment of the institutions mandate and set objectives, in spite of various constraints,” he said.
At least 215 officer cadets were enrolled at ZMA in September 2017 and of those, 149 were commissioned yesterday after 63 dropped for various reasons while three died during the period of the course.
After the parade ceremony, the President also commissioned the new state-of-the-art cadet accommodation and messing facilities.
Present at the graduation ceremony were Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Larry Mavima, Minister of State for National Security Owen Ncube, ZDF commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda, Deputy Chief Secretary in the office of the President George Charamba, war veterans chairman Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa, and senior Government officials.