The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Our Duty Is to Protect Citizens, Says Shiri

THE Air Force of Zimbabwe has been urged to remain loyal to the nation as the country was won through a long and bitter armed struggle. Air Marshal Perrance Shiri said this yesterday at a joint pass-out parade held at Suri-Suri base in Chegutu.

The parade consisted of 305 recruits drawn from three courses namely, senior tactics, junior tactic and recruit course.

He said: "Remember our detractors are now employing asymmetric warfare in which they use political, economic, diplomacy and social instruments to influence public opinion and behaviour of the Zimbabwean people. It is important for you to remain loyal as you are aware that Zimbabwe was born out of a long and bitter armed struggle".

He urged graduands to uphold their oaths of allegiance and shun violence during the forthcoming elections.

"As we go towards elections early next year, you should shun violence and not tolerate it at all. Our duty is to protect citizens to ensure that elections are conducted in a conducive atmosphere," said Air Marshal Shiri.

The AFZ has promoted gender equality through conscripting female cadres. The parade witnessed 91 female officers undergo a rigorous training as their male counterparts.

"Let me hasten to point out that, advocacy for gender diversity in the military has traditionally been voiced loudest by women. They have become bolder and confident in taking up organisational leadership positions," he said.

Air Marshal Shiri encouraged members to maintain high standards of discipline.

"To the graduands, you are expected to display a high standard of discipline, which the AFZ personnel is renowned for.

"Discipline is founded on three core values which are; self respect, self control and a sense of duty,"he said.

The new members were trained in foot and arms drill, weapon training, map reading and military civic education among others.

Also present at the colourful passout parade was the Commissioner of the Zimbabwe Prison Services Retired Major-General, Paradzai Zimondi and Mashonaland Central Resident Governor Advocate Martin Dinha among other senior Government officials.

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