President confers new ranks to generals
General Philip Valerio Sibanda

General Philip Valerio Sibanda

Felex Share Senior Reporter—
THE Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday conducted an investiture ceremony at his Munhumutapa offices, which saw him conferring new ranks to promoted army generals. The promotions were done in terms of Section 216 of the Constitution and the Defence Act.

Zimbabwe National Army (Commander) Lieutenant General Philip Valerio Sibanda was with immediate effect promoted to the rank of a full General. He becomes the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander taking over from General Constantino Guvheya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga, who has retired pending redeployment. Gen Sibanda was replaced by Major- General Edzai Chimonyo as ZNA Commander.

President Mnangagwa promoted Maj-Gen Chimonyo to the rank of Lieutenant-General on assuming the new post.

General Constantino Guvheya Nyikadzino Chiwenga

General Constantino Guvheya Nyikadzino Chiwenga

Before the promotion Maj-Gen Chimonyo who was on secondment to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania with multiple accreditation to the Republics of Burundi and Rwanda. Former Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri was conferred with the rank of Air Chief Marshal on retirement.

He is now Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister. Air Vice Marshal Elson Moyo was promoted to the rank of Air Marshal and replaces Air Chief Marshal Shiri as AFZ commander.

Also conferred with a new rank was Major-General Engelbert Rugeje who became Lieutenant-General on retirement. Lt-Gen Rugeje was appointed Zanu-PF national political commissar at the revolutionary party’s Extraordinary Congress last Friday.

Newly appointed Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Major- General Sibusiso Moyo was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General on retirement.

President Mnangagwa will confer him with the new rank later as he was away on Government business. Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri, Lieutenants General Moyo and Rugeje remain part of the National Reserve Force. President Mnangagwa said the generals had been promoted for their commitment and dedication to duty.

“As your Commander-in-Chief I wish to say congratulations to you all for the ranks you have been promoted to as a result of your dedication, commitment and loyalty to the Republic of Zimbabwe,” he said.

“There are so many officers in the Defence Forces, but you have been found fit to receive these promotions. I have no doubt that you will continue to be diligent, loyal and committed to your motherland, Zimbabwe. Wish you well.” Gen Chiwenga, Defence Forces Service Commission secretary Mrs Pretty Sunguro and Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Ray Ndhlukula witnessed the investiture ceremony.

Gen Chiwenga later conferred new ranks to Brigadiers General David Sigauke, John Chris Mupande and Paul Chima who were promoted to the rank of Major-General by President Mnangagwa. Brig-Gen Hlanganani Dube who was also promoted in the same vein, was out of the country and will be conferred the new rank later.

Air Commodore Jasper Marangwanda was promoted to become an Air Vice Marshall. Gen Chiwenga said: “Join me congratulate the three generals and Air Vice Marshal who have been selected, through the boards established, for their hard work, loyalty and dedication to duty and love of their motherland.”

He said the new promotions came with increased workload.

“The sky is the limit,” Gen Chiwenga said. “You will now have more responsibilities as compared to your previous ranks and everyone will be watching to see the injection of this new blood in our Defence Forces.” Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri is on leave pending retirement. Deputy Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga is the acting Commissioner-General.

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