The Herald (Harare)

19 July 2014

Zimbabwe: Zim Ready to Counter Terrorism - Chiwenga

The country's security agencies will vigilantly safeguard national interests in the face of threats of asymmetric terrorism on the African continent, Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, General Constantine Chiwenga, has said. Speaking during a presentation on "The Evolving Terrorism Threat: Defence and Security Force Mobilisation at the Continental and Sub Regional Level" at the Zimbabwe Defence College yesterday, General Chiwenga said: "As (sic) defence and security institution, we will continue with our constitutional role of ensuring that we meet this challenge head-on.

"Global conflicts have taken a new dimension as terrorism and banditry seems to have taken a foothold in the conduct of modern warfare." He said the creation of political uncertainty and the inducement of violence and unconstitutional change of governments by some Western countries were acts of terrorism facing Africa.

"The illegal regime change, which people talk about here (in Zimbabwe) is part of terrorism. This has visited Africa as we discuss," he said."Imagine what the situation would have been like if we had not mobilised our defence and security forces to thwart the regime change project?"

Gen Chiwenga said there was an unwritten link between resource exploitation and terrorism as evidenced by conflicts in West, Central and East Africa.

He said economic destabilisation was a form of terrorism used by the West to instil fear and arm-twist political direction for economic exploitation. Gen Chiwenga said the country was facing financial constraints as a result of sanctions.

"We remain ineffective to execute our Constitutional mandate. The internal environment if not correctly managed becomes host to numerous forces of terrorist threats which can generate to instability," he said. Gen Chiwenga said the defence and security forces had to create and adopt non-traditional but pragmatic initiatives in dealing with threats to national security.

"The defence and security forces were on the forefront of implementing critical and important national projects such as Operation Garikai, command agriculture, champion farmer and other related activities," he said.

Gen Chiwenga said the defence and security forces have also undertaken joint ventures in mining infrastructure development and agriculture as a way to remain self-reliant and counter economic strangulation.

"What now remains is to increase the magnitude of these joint ventures that have become a beacon of hope for revitalisation of our economy, putting the country's economy back on its feet," he said.

Gen Chiwenga said the defence and security forces will continue to mobilise for economic revival in order to promote peace and security.

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