Zimbabwe: 'Security Sector Key to Development'

11 September 2021

The security sector is a vital cog in the maintenance of peace in the country, with a modern and well-resourced military a key component in National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and in the fulfilment of Vision 2030 aimed at becoming an upper middle income class, President Mnangagwa has said.

Officiating at the wings and commissioning parade for the Number 68 Pilot Training Course, the first under the Second Republic at Josiah Tungamirai Air Force base in Gweru yesterday, the President, who is also the Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), said his Government will always avail resources to security arms such as the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ).

"A more capable, well-resourced, versatile and battle ready Air Force is a fundamental part of the realisation of the aspirations we have set for ourselves in the National Development Strategy 1 and Vision 2030," he said.

"In this regard, my Government will continue to avail resources to support technical and operational requirements for the modernisation of the Air Force of Zimbabwe.

"As I alluded to in my 2021 Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day speech, plans are already in motion to capacitate, retool and equip the defence forces with appropriate military technology."

At the ceremony yesterday, 15 cadets graduated to air lieutenants following a three-year course that also involved military training.

Each of the freshly minted pilots now has 120 hours of flying under their belts.

"I also take this opportunity to commend you, the graduating class of Course Number 68, for your determination, courage and endurance throughout your studies," said President Mnangagwa.

"The values of discipline, patriotism and hard work acquired here must remain your beacons and source of inspiration throughout your careers.

"Riding on the Air Force of Zimbabwe's thrust for continuous improvement, I urge you hereafter, to sustain and broaden your professional capabilities and abilities. Equally, you are urged to be alert and vigilant at all times and in all circumstances.

"Together with other arms of security, you are a vital cog in our country's peace and security infrastructure as well as to national harmony and unity."

President Mnangagwa commended steps being taken by the Air Force of Zimbabwe to revamp its training syllabi, as well as forging synergies with other nations such as China and Zambia.

The ceremony was witnessed by service chiefs, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and other senior Government officials, while parents of the graduating class were also in attendance.

On a wintry September day, the small gathering was treated to drills and fly past by the Air Force of Zimbabwe, which left many enthralled.

Regardless of the bane of illegal sanctions, the President said, the country will not be detracted as it has taken to modernisation and industrialisation using its own resources.

"My Government has taken the position that the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe must no longer hold us back in our quest to leapfrog our socio-economic development," said President Mnangagwa.

"Let us, therefore, maintain focus towards the realisation of the goals we have set for ourselves with regards to the modernisation, industrialisation and growth of every facet of our great country."

Notwithstanding the economic sanctions and the dark shadow cast by Covid-19, the country's economy is this year expected to grow by 7,8 percent, while across the country infrastructural development projects are taking place.

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