The Herald (Harare)

21 November 2012

Zimbabwe: 'Efforts to Recolonise Us Won't Be Tolerated'

Efforts by Zimbabwe's former colonisers to recolonise the country through the backdoor using misguided elements should never be given a chance, Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant General Phillip Valerio Sibanda has said.

"The oath of allegiance you have taken to serve Zimbabwe binds you to serve the interests of a single master, your country and not foreign ones," Lt Gen Sibanda said.

He was reviewing a pass out parade for 798 general duty recruit soldiers who completed a six-month training course at 23 Combat Group in Magunje, Mashonaland West, recently. Lt Gen Sibanda was in the company of the Namibian Army Commander, Major General John Mutwa.

"The oath you have taken compels you to work for the people of Zimbabwe and not for foreign interests.

"If you decide to contravene the oath, the military justice will deal with you," he warned.

He said economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the former colonisers would never be used to propel soldiers onto the streets in the name of effecting regime change.

He said although the recruit soldiers were passing out at a time when the country was facing serious challenges from the illegal economic sanctions imposed on the country by the West, they still had to resolutely defend the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"We should realise that a few years of suffering cannot be equated to a lifetime of bondage," he said.

The army commander hailed 23 Combat Group Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Raban Nikisi and his team comprising of Major Allan Chagonda and his team for the excellent results.

Intake 30F/01/12 had 809 recruits of which 11 failed to make it to the end for various reasons.

The course programme had 107 female recruits and its curriculum included physical training, foot and arms drill, map reading and navigation, first aid, civic military education, individual and technical manoeuvres and weapon training, among others.

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