President Mugabe greets sungura artiste Alick Macheso after his performance at the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium in Harare while Vice Presidents Joice Mujuru (right), John Nkomo (left) look on., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
President salutes ZDF, nation
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00
Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday saluted Zimbabweans and the security forces for successfully resisting efforts by Western powers to cause a revolt through the imposition of illegal economic sanctions.
Addressing thousands of people at the National Sports Stadium yesterday for the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day celebrations, the President said sanctions were meant to compromise the people’s standards of living and destabilise the country.
“However, these sinister manoeuvres were successfully resisted thanks to the combined effort, grit and resilience of the people of Zimbabwe, the defence forces, other law enforcement agencies and the country’s political leadership,” he said.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces urged the nation and the security arms to remain focused in the face of open aggression from the country’s adversaries.
“Allow me to take this opportunity to appeal to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, other security organisations and all progressive Zimbabweans to remain focused, loyal and patriotic to the noble spirit of jealously defending Zimbabwe and its rich natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations,” President Mugabe said.
He added: “We should join hands to resist the unjustified plunder of our resources by undeserving foreign forces that come to us like friends in the name of democracy and globalisation, yet they harbour sinister ulterior motives.”
President Mugabe said the leadership greatly valued the people’s support in defence of Zimbabwe’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“My wish as Commander-in-Chief is that you should continue to support us as we explore other ways of adequately defending the country to enable all Zimbabweans and the business community to engage in economic development initiatives without any disturbances,” he said.
President Mugabe said recent developments in Zimbabwe had shown that other countries have direct interests in controlling Zimbabwe’s natural resources.
He cited spirited attempts by the country’s detractors to influence the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in the sale of diamonds.
“The Zimbabwe Defence Forces, in conjunction with other national security organs, have a responsibility to institute effective responsive solutions to such unjustified and provocative manoeuvres in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.
“I am heartened to note that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces have, to date, been active agent in coming up with reliable defence mechanisms in this regard,” President Mugabe said.
He also thanked the ZDF for engaging in humanitarian work like the removal of anti-personnel landmines planted along the country’s borders by the Rhodesian forces during the liberation struggle.
The President, however, noted that progress in the removal of the landmines has been limited owing to the shortage of resources.
“International law puts the responsibility of removing the landmines on the Government of the affected countries instead of punishing those responsible for planting them.
“Through this unfair decision, we are expected to fund the demining exercise while at the same time overseeing the development of the nation,” he said.
The European Union and the US have stopped funding the exercise, leaving the huge task on Government and the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
President Mugabe said Government was keen on improving conditions of service for members of the ZDF.
“Conditions of service for the Zimbabwe Defence Forces remain an important and critical aspect that continues to be reviewed as and when resources become available.
“It is in this regard that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces commanders in conjunction with the Defence Forces Service Commission continue to explore various ways of improving the conditions of service of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces members and have since approved the payment of Military Salary Concept and X-Factor allowances.
“However, payment of the allowances has not commenced as yet owing to scarcity of resources. It is hoped that these will be paid once the resources become available.”
On the training of Zimbabwe’s security forces, the President said the National Defence College was “a defence university in the making and will soon open its doors to senior military and civilian officers for further training”.