WATCH: 2 400 recruits become soldiers

The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter

THE Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) should not be content with past achievement, but must build a formidable force relevant to modern security demands and thwart threats to the country and region.

ZNA Commander Lieutenant-General David Sigauke said this during the pass out parade of 2 442 recruits at ZNA Recruit Training Depot at Imbizo Barracks on the outskirts of Bulawayo.

General duty soldiers perform a drill during a passout parade held at Recruit Training Depot at Imbizo Barracks near Bulawayo (Pictures Eliah Saushoma)

A total of 2 501 had been recruited to join the army, but 59 dropped during training while six died due to various ailments.

The recruits were yesterday attested to the military as full soldiers and bade farewell to civilian life through pledging to live by the army code of instructions and orders.

Their training lasted for eight months from the beginning of July last year.

Lt Gen Sigauke said the recruits have become full soldiers and are expected to defend the country, its people, its national security and safeguard its security and resources.

He said they have now joined a very successful force, whose regional footprints of professionalism, loyalty and commitment to duty have been observed in countries such as Mozambique, Somalia and the DR Congo, among other nations.

“I, therefore, challenge you to inherit and take over this rich legacy to posterity.

However, as the ZNA, we should not rest on our past achievements, but it is imperative upon us to continuously build a formidable and robust force that will stand the test of time and remain relevant in the 21st century battlefield environment,” said Lt Gen Sigauke.

“The current threats facing the region such as the disturbances in Mozambique, Cabo Del Gado province, requires you to have a firm knowledge base to interrogate, analyse and understand situations as you play a pivotal role entrusted upon you within the security framework of defending the country and the region at large.”

He said the recruits’ transformation into soldiers saw them undergoing training in weapons systems, map reading, field craft, minor tactics, foot and arms drill, range work, voice procedure, first aid, civil military relations, military law, as well as conventional and low intensity operations, among others.

Lt Gen Sigauke said the soldiers now understand the military world, which largely operates on orders and instructions in the execution of duties.

The civil military relations course, he said, was aimed at ensuring that the recruits understand the country’s rich history to defend its interest.

“The thrust of civil military relations is in line with our determination to cultivate a patriotic, loyal, disciplined and cohesive force built upon a firm foundation underpinned on the ideals, values and ethics which define the Zimbabwe Defence Forces,” said Lt Gen Sigauke.

“The understanding of the history of our nation starting from where we come from, where we are and where we are going is a major undertaking which requires an orientated force to uphold the fine legacy bequeathed to us by our forebears.

Be reminded that this country has a long history, which needs to be passed from one generation to another.

On this note, you therefore are required to have a full understanding of your role in defence of our national interests from both internal and external threats.”

He said for the military to protect Zimbabwe’s interests, the army has zero tolerance on indiscipline and unprofessionalism.

Lt Gen Sigauke urged the soldiers to guard against new threats posed by the emergence of social media.

“You also need to guard against threats of misinformation, disinformation and rumour mongering being propagated on social media platforms bent on misleading members of the security forces and the general citizenry.

Your strength and resilience should be based upon the firm foundation and orientation given to you during the civil military relation studies,” said Lt Gen Sigauke.

He said the soldiers graduating were drawn from all the country’s 10 provinces as the military believes in equal opportunities for all.

The ZNA is a firm believer in gender mainstreaming, hence 253 women successfully completed the military training.

“You are aware that Zimbabwe signed and ratified a number of regional and international conventions that call for gender equality in various spheres of life.

In this regard, the ZNA will continue and train the girl child as they have proven to be competent, determined, disciplined and dedicated to serve Zimbabwe,” said Lt Gen Sigauke.

He implored the soldiers to respect the general public as the success of the army lies in good relations with the general populace and traditional leaders, among other societal groupings.

Lt Gen Sigauke also expressed gratitude for the support the army receives from the corporate world. – @nqotshili

Article Source: The Chronicle

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