ZNA boss unpacks Operation Restore Legacy
Prosper Ndlovu in Kwekwe
Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Commander Lieutenant-General Philip Valerio Sibanda says corrupt Government officials are partly to blame for the socio-economic problems facing the country.
Speaking at a passing out parade for 590 recruits at 53 Infantry Battalion in Kwekwe yesterday, Lt-Gen Sibanda said the recent military action that ushered in a new political dispensation was meant to weed out corrupt elements who had captured the State.
He said while Zimbabwe had endured the impact of illegal sanctions imposed by the West and America, corruption had worsened the situation.
“Some corrupt members of our Government had digressed from their core mandate of serving the people to robbing the people through corruption and fiscal indiscipline, taking advantage of their proximity to the former Head of State, Cde Robert Mugabe,” said Lt-Gen Sibanda.
“These acts of indiscipline aimed at enriching individuals were causing a lot of social and economic problems in the country and the defence forces had to intervene in order to restore normalcy in the country,” Lt-Gen Sibanda said.
As a result of the ZDF intervention, he said, the country was going through a political transition following the resignation of the former President.
The new President, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, was sworn-in as Head of State and and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces last week.
President Mnangagwa has already declared zero tolerance on corruption and warned that tough measures will be taken on those who indulge in the vice.
The President has granted a three-month amnesty to those who illegally externalised funds to bring them back or risk prosecution.
Lt-Gen Sibanda said the ZDF had a mandate to defend the country’s territorial integrity and its interests against enemies.
He urged Zimbabweans to embrace the new dispensation and play their part in ensuring a peaceful environment for the country’s development.
“Let us forget about past mistakes and think ahead. I have hope that these hardships will be overcome as the new Government takes charge and outlines its development agenda. I need to emphasise the need for vigilance during this period as there are still some individuals who believe that they can reverse what has happened,” he said.
The ZNA Commander urged recruits to remain disciplined, law-abiding and patriotic role models in the discharge of their duty as well as being useful in the community in fulfilment of their oath of service to the nation.
Yesterday’s gathering witnessed the graduation of 590 recruits comprising of 494 males and 96 females.